Minature Radiotherapy Machine for the Play Area

Over the next year, The Play Specialists within the Radiotherapy Department will be working with our engineers to develop and create a miniature radiotherapy treatment machine to be used in our Playroom with children and young people. The aim of the project is to perfect our preparation tools and techniques for reducing anxiety and distress experienced by young children and their families when beginning radiotherapy treatment. In conjunction with our new short films for preparation, we will use the miniature treatment machine to accurately demonstrate what the child can expect, enable the child to operate the machine, give treatment to a doll or toy, and ask questions about fears they may have. The machine will have working lights and sounds, an adjustable bed and moving parts for imaging and treatment. This is also a useful tool for post-procedural play, where a young child, as young as 3 – 4 years of age, can re-enact their experiences, helping them to make sense of their world and better cope with their treatment. Although a miniature machine can be purchased from the manufacturer, we want to build our own within our department, to accurately reflect our treatment machines, tailored to our methods of preparation, and keeping costs to a minimum with recycled materials we may already have. Our engineers have already finished a similar project with a miniature MRI scanner, which is currently in use with our youngest patients reducing the need for general anaesthetic, which in turn reduces waiting times and reduces the stresses put on a family with a general anaesthetic for scans and treatments. The costs for this have been estimated at approximately £4000. This is based on research undertaken by our engineers and other models currently available. Any contribution up to this amount would be greatly appreciated and recognition will be given to all donors.