MediCinema, Alder Hey Children’s Charity And The Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust Announce New Partnership
The specially designed in-hospital cinema, due to open in 2024, will be funded exclusively by Alder Hey Children’s Charity and MediCinema and will be the only one in a solely paediatric hospital in the UK and the first in the North West.
The colourful cinema will accommodate beds, wheelchairs, and medical equipment and show the latest movies for free to transform the hospital experience for children and young people at Alder Hey.
According to MediCinema’s ongoing research: 86% of MediCinema attendees find that the experience supports their mental health and helps them cope, 94% say it reduces the isolation they feel in the hospital, and 93% report a reduction in stress and anxiety and the majority (56%) of patients surveyed shared that their MediCinema experience helps alleviate pain.
The charity MediCinema, Alder Hey Children’s Charity and the Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust have announced a new partnership to create a state-of-the-art cinema inside the children’s hospital.
The specially designed in-hospital cinema, due to open in 2024, will be funded exclusively by Alder Hey Children’s Charity and MediCinema and will be the only one in a solely paediatric hospital in the UK and the first in the North West. The colourful cinema will accommodate beds, wheelchairs, and medical equipment and show the latest movies for free to transform the hospital experience for children and young people at Alder Hey.
Specialist trained volunteers will be joined by Alder Hey Nurses who will have the option of working for the MediCinema outside of their usual rota. These teams will accompany patients and families to screenings, making it possible for them to enjoy the latest films just like many cinemagoers whilst still receiving any care that they need. This connection to the outside world will be a ray of light in the lives of those who need it most when it opens in 2024 and will be able to host thousands of visitors every year.
MediCinema already operates successfully in five major NHS Trusts and Health Boards across the UK, boosting patient and family wellbeing with the magic of film during hospital stays. With an impressive 24-year track record, their cinema-based programmes improve the emotional, psychological, and physical health of patients. This includes reducing feelings of isolation, stress, and anxiety while enhancing patient resilience and supporting recovery.
According to MediCinema’s ongoing research, 86% of MediCinema attendees find that the experience supports their mental health and helps them cope. An amazing 94% say it reduces the isolation they feel in the hospital, and 93% report a reduction in stress and anxiety. The majority (56%) of patients surveyed shared that their MediCinema experience helps alleviate pain.
The build will be funded by grants and donations. Once opened, Alder Hey patients and families will be able to access the film screenings free-of-charge. Alder Hey are launching an appeal this month calling for people to donate the equivalent cost of a cinema ticket to their Children’s Charity to contribute towards the first year’s running costs.
The MediCinema journey at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital promises to be a heart-warming tale of healing, hope, and movie magic, with young patients and their families as the stars of the show.
Fiona Ashcroft, Chief Executive at Alder Hey Children’s Charity said “This project is so exciting – the charity already funds so much at Alder Hey that helps to make a hospital stay the best it can be for our children and this new MediCinema will ensure the hospital has that something extra for them too, adding a sprinkle of movie magic to a child’s journey!”
Colin Lawrence, CEO of MediCinema said “We are so proud to be building our next MediCinema inside Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. We’ve been bringing the benefits of the big screen to patients in NHS hospitals for more than 20 years, and over that time seen the extraordinary range of impact and benefit it can have. We want to bring that positive impact to more NHS patients across the UK, and are delighted for the opportunity to do just that for close to 5000 children and their families every year at this prestigious hospital.”
Nathan Askew, Chief Nursing Officer at Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust said “Being in hospital can be challenging for children and young people and they can miss out on so many aspects of a normal childhood. Going to the cinema can be something we take for granted, and we will all have happy memories of not just the film but sharing that experience with others. Having a cinema within our hospital means we can give those children and young people who can’t normally go the opportunity to still have that magical movie experience. We also plan to run special screenings for some of our parents and families. It will make a massive difference to everyone here.”
MediCinema patient quotes
Molly has been in and out of hospital her whole life and spends a lot of time at the Evelina Hospital in St Thomas’ Hospital. Her mum Amanda described the difference MediCinema made to them: “A couple of hours away from the ward really makes a child’s life better and as a parent – and a carer – it’s so lovely to see your child smile … because you don’t tend to see your children smile when they’re in hospital.
MediCinema gave us both somewhere to relax and get away – it made such a huge difference. It takes your mind off everything, and that’s not just the patient, but the family too. It reminds you that there is another world out there and that you can step out of your situation, even if it’s for a couple of hours, and be taken off to another place.”
Grace developed a serious autoimmune disease and spent four weeks in the Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow – her mother Shona described the difference MediCinema made there: “We saw multiple different films during Grace’s stay and every time it was a constant bit of cheer to enter the MediCinema and see the rows of brightly coloured seats. MediCinema felt like a pause from reality, where we could think about something other than Grace’s condition and just laugh together and enjoy ourselves as a family.”
MediCinema is a charity which improves the wellbeing and quality of life of NHS patients and their families through the power of the shared cinema experience and the magic of film. It builds and runs cinemas in hospitals equipped with space for beds, wheelchairs, and medical equipment and shows the latest releases for free Its services demonstrably improve emotional, mental, and physical health, reduce feelings of isolation, anxiety, and stress, and increase patient resilience. Since MediCinema was founded in 1999 it has given more than 300,000 experiences to patients, their families, carers and those closest to them. MediCinema operates cinemas in the following: Chelsea and Westminster, Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals in London, Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary, Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Children/Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, and Serennu Children’s Centre in Newport South Wales.
About Alder Hey Children’s Charity
Alder Hey’s appeal, to contribute towards the running costs of the cinema, kicks off this month: landing on doors throughout the North West and across all the charity’s social media channels, and asking kind supporters to donate the equivalent cost of a standard cinema ticket.
Alder Hey Children’s Hospital treats over 330,000 children every year – that’s more than 900 children each and every day, more than any other children’s hospital in the UK.
Alder Hey Children’s Charity supports the work of Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust by raising much needed funds that are spent directly on initiatives in the hospital and community to benefit patients. Without the support of charitable donations, many of the outstanding facilities and innovations at Alder Hey could not be achieved.
Alder Hey is dedicated to going the extra mile to support the physical and mental health of every brave young patient who needs us. We pride ourselves on a child-centred approach and support the whole family to give their child the best start in life, from birth to early adulthood. Every penny raised through Alder Hey Charity’s current appeals will deliver access to the best possible equipment and facilities, above and beyond what is available on our hard-working NHS, from keeping poorly tiny babies close to their loved ones, to providing a home from home for young people with complex and enduring mental health conditions.
About Alder Hey
Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust provides care for over 330,000 children and young people every year. Alder Hey delivers clinical excellence for all children, for routine illnesses as well as very complex and rare conditions.
One of four stand-alone children’s hospitals in the UK, it is a national centre for neuro and craniofacial surgery, a regional centre for burns injuries and a Centre of Excellence for children with cancer, heart, spinal and brain disease. Alder Hey as an NIHR funded Clinical Research Facility (CRF) that specialises in the design, and delivery, of early phase drug trials in children with a wide range of conditions.
The Trust is one of only four epilepsy surgical centres in the UK and one of only two accredited major trauma centres in the North West. Alder Hey is also a respiratory Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) surge centre and is the referral centre for the treatment of congenital heart defects in North West England, North Wales and Isle of Man. It became the first UK Centre of Excellence for Childhood Lupus in 2010.
Alder Hey is the first accredited Investing in Children hospital in the UK. It has a dedicated patient experience programme which includes the award-winning Alder Hey Arts involving music therapy, dance programmes, storytelling and animation projects. It is also one of a few hospitals to have a Children and Young Person’s Forum.
Alder Hey opened a new hospital ‘Alder Hey in the Park’ in 2015. Europe’s first hospital in a park, the new facility provides a purpose-built, unique and world class healing environment for children and young people.
Alder Hey is supported by The Alder Hey Children’s Charity which aims to raise vital funds for lifesaving equipment, research projects and patient experience initiatives.