We host community events that bring together local families with hospital-based healthcare professionals, local GPs, health visitors and pharmacists.

Parents and carers have the opportunity to discuss how to keep their children safe and healthy with experts in child health, and learn where to go if they have any concerns. The events also give health professionals the chance to learn from families how they can improve and better integrate local services.

We’ve organised fun and engaging theatre workshops that facilitate communities working together to improve healthcare for children in their local area.

Families informing clinical care through interactive workshops

In August 2014 we ran a drama workshop known as a ‘sequential simulation’. It was an interactive performance where health professionals recreated how they provide care to children in their day-to-day work, and afterwards the audience were invited to give their thoughts. We designed the simulation with our Practice Champions, whose input was invaluable as they drew from their own experiences as patients and carers to make it more realistic. Two of the Practice Champions went on to perform as themselves in the simulation.

The simulation was a scene about ‘Ella’, a 15 year old girl with asthma. The first time the scene was performed, the health professionals showed how they would provide care to Ella in if she was a patient in real life. We then stopped and asked the audience what they thought about her care and how we could improve it, in particular asking how we could better ‘join up’ care between different health professionals. We then performed the scene again, this time taking on board the audience’s suggestions.

The audience said that they found the simulation “very entertaining and engaging” and liked being given the chance to get involved. One audience member said: “I enjoyed that you would stop and explain what was going on, and ask people for their opinions.”

Teaching children about managing their health with Fix Freddie!

Some of our doctors, nurses, therapists and play specialists have been touring the local community to pilot an educational puppet show with PuppetSoup, a professional puppet theatre company. Fix Freddie! is a fun and engaging play which explains where Freddie can seek help when he has a minor injury at home. The tour has visited local schools and children’s centres, and we also hosted three large Fix Freddie! community events in April and December 2014. Around 250 adults and over 600 children have watched the show so far.

“Fix Freddie! is a way of getting people to engage not just with doctors, pharmacists and healthcare experts, but with each other, so they make stronger communities.” PuppetSoup puppeteer

What did the attendees say?

“I learned that if it’s not an emergency, I should call 111, not 999.” Seven year old pupil

“I now keep all medicines safely locked away.” Local parent

“Having a little illness is part of normal childhood.” Local parent

“I now know where to go for different problems.” Local parent

“These events help to generate awareness, so that parents know when to come to A&E, but also when their pharmacist can help and support them.” Pharmacist