Revolutionary equipment will distract youngsters from pain at Sunderland Royal

Jessica Summerside, 10, with paediatric A&E manager Malcolm Hayden-Duck in front of the VPod Pain Distraction Unit
Jessica Summerside, 10, with paediatric A&E manager Malcolm Hayden-Duck in front of the VPod Pain Distraction Unit
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WEARSIDE’S youngsters need not fear a trip to A&E after a new system to distract them from painful treatment was installed at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Following fund-raising from the Children’s Foundation, the 3D Vpod Pain Distraction Unit is now available to use.

Jessica Summerside with dad Paul in front of the Vpod Pain Distraction Unit at Sunderland Royal Hospital's paediatric A&E department

Jessica Summerside with dad Paul in front of the Vpod Pain Distraction Unit at Sunderland Royal Hospital's paediatric A&E department

The display unit shows both 2D and 3D moving images as a way of reducing stress and relaxing children who are undergoing treatment.

The unit has been used in a trial at The Royal for the past couple of months after being well received by families.

According to Government child health figures, Sunderland has more than double the number of A&E attendees in the zero to four age range compared to the national average.

St Benet’s school pupil Jessica Summerside, 10, was brought in by her dad Paul following an accident in a pizza shop.

Jessica Summerside with dad Paul in front of the Vpod Pain Distraction Unit at Sunderland Royal Hospital's paediatric A&E department

Jessica Summerside with dad Paul in front of the Vpod Pain Distraction Unit at Sunderland Royal Hospital's paediatric A&E department

“She just banged her hand on the pizza shop counter and injured her middle finger,” said Paul, 51, of Roker.

“Nothing’s broken and she just needed a splint, but it can be really stressful for the child and parent to go through these things.

“I didn’t know about the distraction unit, it’s fantastic.

“You can take the child’s mind off their treatment and it puts the parent’s mind at ease.”

Pauline Palmer, paediatric matron at the Royal, said: “Our staff on Accident and Emergency have found it very useful, especially during painful procedures like cannulation and it has been well received by the children.

“They’ve found it straightforward and easy to use.

“Additionally, they have found that the children like it in 2D so they are using for smaller children who can’t wear glasses.”

Chief executive of the Children’s Foundation, Peregrine Solly, said: “Our programme of fund-raising for these units is now in its third year and we’re in discussions with the NHS so that they can become used in more hospitals.

“We’ve had them at hospitals in Newcastle and we think it’s a real world-first so now we want to be more readily available.”

The hospital is now hoping to install three further units, another two in the children’s in-patient wards and three for the Niall Quinn Centre, which is just off Kayll Road.

To make a donation to the Children’s Foundation, call 282 0000 or go to www.thechildrensfoundation.co.uk.