An illustration shows a child in a hospital waiting room with lots of questions hovering next to them.

An innovative resource designed by Edge Hill University researchers to help children know what to expect and what might happen when they go to hospital has been endorsed by the Royal College of Nursing.

Children Coming to Hospital, which aims to make hospital visits better for children, has received official recognition for meeting the highest standards for nursing resources.

Created by Professor Lucy Bray, Professor Bernie Carter and senior lecturer Ed Horowicz, the resource is made up of an animation and comic strip for children and young people, an animation for health professionals and a leaflet for parents and carers.

This animation gives children information about what might happen when they visit hospital for procedures.

The unique materials were developed after talking to children aged 7 to 14 about their fears and feelings about visiting hospital and having medical procedures.

Receiving this endorsement means that the resource meets the Royal College of Nursing’s quality criteria for professional standards and is fit for UK nursing practice.

Professor Lucy Bray, said: “We’re delighted that our resource has been officially endorsed by the Royal College of Nursing, which is the ultimate recognition for our work in ensuring that children feel empowered and know what to expect if they go to hospital or a medical setting for a procedure.

“It can be hard for children to know what to expect when they come to hospital for tests and procedures. By talking to children, they told us that hospitals can seem scary with lots of strange-looking equipment and noises. They often don’t know what’s going to happen to them. Our resource is helping children know that it is okay to ask questions to find out what is going on.

“Similarly, we want professionals to think about how a child might be feeling and our resource will help them to do this.”

This animation gives health professionals practical advice on how to care for children in hospital.

Fiona Smith, Royal College of Nursing Professional Lead for Children and Young People’s Nursing, added:

“Going into hospital for anyone can be a difficult and often confusing time and this can be particularly so for children and young people. Being able to explain to them, as well as their parents or carers, what to expect can help to reduce any stress and ease the process.

“Nurses will be there every step of the way but this additional resource is a huge benefit and has a place for all of those with any questions to seek out information when and where it might be needed.

“We hope this will aid discussions about what to expect when going into hospital and make the process far less stressful and ultimately aid recovery as well.”

The resource, which was also recently shortlisted for a British Medical Association Patient Information Award, is free to download and use; just visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/childrencomingtohospital/