Natalie Cummins

Natalie Cummins Horizon Fellow

Play and Youth Service Team Lead, Paediatric Therapies

Chelsea Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Biography: Natalie leads the Play and Youth Service cross site – the service role is to provide play for children and young people and provide the opportunity to process the hospital environment, this aids development and reduces anxiety around hospital procedures. To do this, they use normalising play to familiarise the environment and provide support, including preparations to prepare patients for all procedures and interventions. Distraction and support through procedures and post procedural support is also provided, to reflect on the procedure and process what has happened. The role includes family support, ensuring families are aware of all the services available to them in hospital and when they go home, to ensure they are fully supported with their child’s development.

Horizon Fellowship project summary: The aim of Natalie’s project is to develop a play and youth service app. This will give parents access to preparation materials such as prep books and social stories before they arrive at the hospital, which will lower anxiety prior to the visit. It will then also provide an opportunity to signpost parents back to the trust website using links to different services available throughout the trust to support them further during their stay, ensuring parents have all the information needed will support their stay and lead to improved patient experience.

Estimated number of patients / staff impacted by the project: Across the two sites as a team, they support approximately 100 inpatient beds and various outpatient and day surgery patients.

Goal(s) for for time on the Horizon Fellowship programme: To gain new skills in learning areas such as business plans, which will provide valuable support for Natalie’s role. Additionally, having a mentor to learn from will provide her with the knowledge she needs to put all her ideas and plans into practice.