Hospital introduces Medibears to reassure children with learning difficulties

Medical teddy bears have been specifically designed to help explain to young hospital patients, particularly those with learning difficulties, what happens during their treatment.

Medibears are fitted with toy medical devices such as hearing aids, cochlear implants, bandages and pacemakers to calm patients who are worried about their medical procedure.

Emma Chapman, Children’s Services Matron, said: “The Medibears will support the work undertaken with children and young people with a learning disability when being prepared for specific procedures and to help them better understand what is going to happen to them.

“They are a very welcome addition to the other resources available and will enhance the work already being undertaken by our hospital play team and nursing teams.”

Fiona Springall, a Children and Young Person’s Learning Disability Specialist Nurse, said: “The bears help to normalise medical equipment and help to reduce any worries they may have.

“Children can see and examine the bear and that helps them feel comfortable about having their procedure done.”

Cat Turley, mother of her 11-year-old daughter, Tegan, who was in the hospital being treated for type one diabetes said the idea of having Medibears to hold and examine was “fantastic”.

“The Medibear is something that can be seen as being in the same situation as them and they can play with it,” Mrs Turley said.

“That gives them more confidence in what can be a scary situation for a child.”