X Ray Room at Exeter Wonford Hospital with AGFA Healthcare

Arts for Impact are working with AGFA Healthcare to use art to improve the experience of patients in healthcare settings. In this project, we transformed one of the X Ray Rooms in the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital into a submarine!

Hugh Rose, the creative lead on this project, was very pleased to be able to meet Joel, who fundraised for the project, and present him with a hand-made toy, based on the diver character in the artwork.

We would like to say a big thank you to AGFA Healthcare, the staff at the Exeter Wonford Hospital Radiology Department and to the NHS Royal Devon & Exeter Foundation Trust.

The NHS Royal Devon & Exeter Foundation Trust had this to say:

"A paediatric X-ray room at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital has been given a submarine style makeover thanks to fundraising campaign led by Radiology staff.

The Big Raise for Little Rays campaign aimed to refurbish an X-ray room so that it would be more friendly and welcoming for younger patients. Thanks to the efforts of staff and local fundraisers the room has been given a marine makeover complete with a deep sea diver, make-believe periscope, control panels and portholes looking out to sea from which tropical fish, turtles and even a whale can be spotted swimming by.

Due to the campaign’s success Agfa HealthCare, who supplied the room’s new high-performance DR 600 X-ray machine, pledged to match the team’s fundraising total of £5,000 and fund the total refurbishment of a second themed X-ray room which is currently underway.

One of the first patients to see the completed room was eleven year-old Joel Warne from Tiverton. He raised £1,270 for the campaign after recovering by riding 28 miles on the Tarka Trail in May following spinal surgery.

Joel said: “In February I was allowed to ride my bike so I have been training to get fit enough to do the bike ride - it has been my goal since coming out of hospital. I wanted to do this because I’ve had a lot of x-rays here and they’ve always been really good with me so I thought I could get fit and help some of the people who helped me. I think the room looks a lot better now – it makes you think that you really are inside a submarine. It’s a lot friendlier and less scary in here now so it was well worth the effort!”

The wall design was the creation of artist Hugh Rose from Guernsey-based charity ‘Arts for Impact’, who engage directly with communities through creative activity. The cheerful interiors aim to make patients more comfortable during the imaging process. Hugh explained: “Our aim was to transform the experience of the new x-Ray room for young patients, so we worked hard to create an environment that immerses the patient in the underwater theme, including a range of eye-catching features that the Radiographers can use to engage with young patients and get their scans completed quickly and easily. We are very happy with the result and the feedback we have heard from the staff and patents.”

The Trust chose the two fully digital, fully automated X-ray rooms from Agfa HealthCare for improved imaging service delivery, whilst enhancing the patient experience. The state-of-the-art machine provides quick access to high-quality images and is fully-automated so is easier for staff to operate.

“Imaging can be a stressful for any patient, and Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust is taking a proactive and innovative approach to improving the patient experience,” commented Grant Witheridge, Managing Director UK & Ireland at Agfa HealthCare. “We are proud that our DR 600s have been chosen by the hospital for their quality, speed, ease of use and overall value.”

Katie Swann, Senior Radiographer (Paediatric Lead), said: “Since 2014 the staff in Radiology have been fundraising for our charity 'Big Raise for Little Rays’. Thanks to the hard work of the Radiology team and the generosity of staff, patients and visitors we raised over £3500, through various events such as cake sales, competitions and Christmas raffles. It is fantastic to see the finished result with the completion of our underwater X-ray room, which has already had great feedback from the staff and patients!”

Stephen Pettet-Smith, the Trusts Arts Manager, who oversaw the delivery of the project added: “Both the department and I are delighted with the outcome of the first room, the images of the interior of a submarine contain a great deal of intriguing detail to occupy young people and take their minds off of what may be a worrying experience. The project was to tight timescales and the installation needed to fit around building work, installation of equipment and final testing. ‘Arts for Impact’ worked around these constraints to deliver a superb result.”

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