Children measure up to the Queen
Tan Parsons A DASH of paint has made a world of difference to a children s ward at the Royal Free where visitors can now measure up against the Queen. Children attending the newly refurbished clinic one can now check their highness against Her Majesty b
A DASH of paint has made a world of difference to a children's ward at the Royal Free where visitors can now measure up against the Queen.
Children attending the newly refurbished 'clinic one' can now check their highness against Her Majesty by standing next to a life size picture of Queen Elizabeth.
Ruth Ouzia, operational manager for children's services at the hospital, said: "We wanted an atmosphere where children could play and relax while they wait to see the doctor in an environment which is as non-clinical as possible."
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The Queen's image is just one of the innovative pieces that are being installed in the revamped area opened yesterday (April 22).
Other inspiring works include a treasure hunt around the clinic, an interactive water tank with coloured water and light which children can manipulate using magnets.
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"The idea is to change people's perceptions of a hospital clinic", said Patricio Forrester of the company Artmongers, which designed the artwork in conjunction with some of the patients from the children's ward.
He said: "We focused on how to increase the feel good aspects.
"When kids go to hospital it's a stressful time so all the images are kind of happy.
"There is a sense of humour in this work - it's really to take their minds off what they are in hospital for.
"We asked the Queen if we could take her photo and she said no but she did direct us to buy an image we could use.
"The one we chose was of her looking at Prince Philip with an amused expression. She hasn't seen the finished artwork yet but she does know about it."
Clinic one is the first dedicated children's clinic at the Royal Free.
It has 11 consulting rooms which means specialists from ear, nose and throat, ophthalmology, orthopaedic, dermatology and other areas can see children in a child-centred environment.
The doors to the consulting rooms show vibrant images of the living world and the children will be directed to places including the 'giraffe room' and the 'fossil room', rather than more technical sounding places.
The walls have been painted in different bright colours and entry to the clinic is through a door with a wide smile, where eyes are represented by window panes and there are brass panels for nostrils.