Playground designed to promote recovery

Playground designed to promote recovery

So when students at Woodbridge Primary School were asked to help decide the final design for the playground at the St John of God Midland Public Hospital, they were very excited at the unique opportunity.

The new state-of-the-art playground was unveiled last week and the students were there to enjoy the features.

The playground offers a railway theme in a nod to the former railway yards across the road and an historical link to Midland�s rich history.

The hospital intends that patients in the children�s ward and those visiting will use the facility and spend time outdoors.

Health Minister Kim Hames was there to unveil the design, which was selected from a range of themes by the students.

Brookfield Multiplex funded the playground.

Brookfield managing director Chris Palandri said the gift to the community would create a lasting legacy for children and their families visiting the hospital.

�As well as building a state-of-the-art healthcare facility, we want the playground to have a positive social impact on the community by creating opportunities for connectedness and healing,� Mr Palandri said.

Dr Hames said it had become more obvious with research that children with access to garden and play spaces had more opportunity for recovery.

�The playground will add a dimension of fun for children visiting the hospital and contribute to a positive and welcoming experience for families,� Dr Hames said.

�Play spaces are important in recovery.

�The campus itself has nine internal courtyards, including four in the Mental Health Unit, so the playground near the main entrance is part of a broader approach to helping people feel more at ease in a hospital environment.�

Dr Hames said when the 307-bed hospital opened, it would replace Swan District Hospital, increaseing bed capacity by 50 per cent and deliver free public health care to about 29,000 in-patients in its first year of operation.

�The hospital will include a 12-bed paediatric unit, and expanded neonatal unit which will treat babies from 34 weeks� gestation, as well as a dedicated waiting area and paediatric assessment unit within the Emergency Department,� Dr Hames said.

The Midland paediatric services are part of a network of children�s health care facilities including Perth Children�s Hospital due to open next year, plus the new, expanded paediatric unit at Joondalup Health Campus, also scheduled to open next year.

The State Government has partnered with St John of God Health Care to design, build and operate the $360 million Midland public hospital, which is jointly funded by the State and Australian governments.