Blackpool healthcare professional recognised with charity award
Rosanne Norman, health play specialist from Blackpool Teaching Hospital has been named as the country’s runner up Mentor of the Year at Starlight’s Health Play Awards. Starlight, the UK’s leading charity for children’s play in hospitals and hospices, holds the annual Health Play Awards to recognise inspirational healthcare professionals who work to ensure every child experiences the power of play. Play can reduce fear, pain and trauma, so they advocate for this during a child’s treatment and recovery from illness.
Having been a health play specialist for over 18 years, Rosanne has a wealth of experience using play to relieve children’s anxiety, help them understand their diagnosis and even reduce their pain. As well as this, Rosanne now also inspires future health play specialists as a mentor.
Claire Fox, Health Play Specialist at Royal Lancaster Infirmary and Rosanne’s mentee, said: “I can honestly say without Rosanne’s support and mentorship, I maybe not be in the health play specialist role and profession all together. She encouraged me in my first year, even though we worked for completely different hospitals. I am so thankful for her support, encouragement, guidance and professional discussions.”
Speaking about the impact of this award, Rosanne said: “I feel very honoured to have been awarded this award. Empowering other healthcare professionals to become health play specialists is one of the most privileged roles. Play is one of the most powerful tools when a child or young person enters the hospital, there is nothing more powerful than play.”
Cathy Gilman, Chief Executive of Starlight, said: “It’s healthcare specialists like Rosanne who are our real life superheroes. When we ask children about being in hospital the over-whelming response is that hospital is scary and play makes it better. Rosanne goes above and beyond to not only support children across the hospital through play, but she also supports her colleagues. She is inspiring the next generation of health play specialists.”
Starlight’s latest report, ‘Reducing Trauma for Children in Healthcare’, highlights the trauma children experience throughout treatment and procedures in hospital. The new data in this report reveals that play, with the support of health play specialists, can mitigate that trauma, however, there are significant gaps across the country.
To find out how you can support Starlight in ensuring every child’s right to play is protected and provided for visit www.starlight.org.uk/play-in-hospital-week-2023