The Theodora Children’s Charity
A stay in hospital can be frightening for a child but the Giggle Doctor visits help to improve the well-being of these young patients, reducing distress and anxiety, increasing opportunities for play and generally improving their experience of hospital. Two Giggle Doctors visit Addenbrookes each week and during each four hour visit, Dr Fab, Dr Pop-a-long and the other Giggle Doctors will tailor each interaction to the child, whether it’s a joke, a song or simply companionship. It is not always about laughter, sometimes the focus of the visit might be on music, magic or storytelling. The children are not just spectators but participants in the experience.
Our Giggle Doctor have all completed our extensive training programme including modules on child development, infection control, the impact of illness on families, and how to adapt artistic skills to the hospital environment. The Giggle Doctors are also trained in ‘intensive interaction’, a technique which has been shown to improve communication skills of disabled children who have severe communication difficulties. Giggle Doctors always get permission from the child before approaching them. At present the Giggle Doctors bring magical moments to 30,000 children each year at 20 hospitals, 3 hospices and 2 specialist care centres across England.
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