Herald Sun: Sneak peek inside new $250m facility

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First published on the Herald Sun, by Brigid O’Connell, 15 February 2017 

THE first sneak peek inside the new Monash Children’s Hospital shows distraction, reassurance and playtime will be heavily prescribed when it opens in April.

Monash Health has scoured the world to find the best interactive experiences to include in the new $250 million hospital officials hope will reduce the fear and sadness children feel about leaving home for treatment.

But most importantly, they have spoken to children and families themselves about the types of things they want to see there.

A key feature is the $2.6 million MRI suite that is transformed into a theatre of soothing coloured lights, sounds and videos to distract the children throughout the scanning process.

Made possible by a donation from a Melbourne family foundation, which wished to remain anonymous, the technology has been shown to reduce the need for sedation.

Children can also play with a toy-model of the scanner to learn about the procedure they are about to have.

Monash Health Foundation director Debbie Shiell said they had been heavily guided by the feedback from patients about how to improve their hospital stay.

“We’re talking to kids, so it’s all about providing a positive experience from the moment they walk in the door,” she said.

“Having a playful setting for the MRI helps the patient, but it also helps the family have more control over the procedure, experience it beforehand and then be distracted throughout.”

The Herald Sun received an exclusive look at the hospital’s showpiece, its entrance atrium, which is designed to amaze and engross our littlest patients from when they first walk in.

Multi-coloured stalactites hang from the roof, wooden animals are strategically positioned to be climbed on, and a paddock of padded oversized grass invites itself to be touched and moved through.

The hospital will treat an extra 7000 children each year from Melbourne’s southern suburbs, as well as having room for an extra 60,000 outpatient appointments for the specialist clinics.

The MRI suite at Monash Children’s Hospital. Picture: David Caird.

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Minister for Health Jill Hennessy hides in the tall grass padded play ground in the hospital’s atrium. Picture: David Caird.

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Kidney transplant patient Aleia Di Scala, 7, plays on a wooden rhino in the play area of the atrium. Picture: David Caird.

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The ultra sound room at the new Monash Children’s Hospital.

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Two year-old brain tumour survivor, Zach and Minister for Health Jill Hennessy interacting with animations in our new Diagnostic Imaging Department.

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Monash Children’s Hospital Main Entrance

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