Hospital patients on a Hi-De-High as ward turns into holiday camp

Trust Communications Officer and fore Bluecoat and Redcoat, Alma Stewart

A St Annes hospital is turning its patient day room into a holiday camp complete with its own ‘Orangecoat’ entertainer.

Clifton’s Holiday Camp, based at Clifton Hospital Lytham St Annes, is a new regular entertainments programme based on activities from Pontins and Butlins by one of their former entertainers.

Alma Stewart, a Communications Officer at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, is a former Redcoat and Bluecoat. She said: “I look after the PR and marketing for Clifton so am a regular visitor. I love it here.

“A couple of months ago, I decided it might be fun to host a patient singalong, which went down really well with both patients and staff.

“As a former Redcoat and Bluecoat, I came up with the idea of becoming an ‘Orangecoat’ in order to host some activities like bingo, hoy, cine-racing, quizzes and game shows.

“This give patients an opportunity to get out of bed, off the ward and have good old fashioned fun so they can forget they are in a hospital for a couple of hours. It also gives me a chance to relive my wonderful years spent working at the holiday centres.”

Clifton Ward 1 Manager, Linda Broadbent, said: “We are delighted to be able to offer this entertainment along with the other patient activities.

“Many of our patients would have stayed at a holiday camp and so these entertainments can evoke lovely memories as well as giving patients a chance to get up and dressed and out of the ward environment.

“As a rehabilitation facility, we encourage the patients to be as active as possible and socialising and having fun in the day room helps with any mental health issues that may arise from being in hospital.”

The activities also support Clifton’s commitment to ending PJ paralysis – to value patients’ time and help more people to live the richest, fullest lives possible by reducing immobility, muscle deconditioning, and dependency at the same time as protecting cognitive function, social interaction and dignity.

Head of Clifton Hospital, Jason Flannigan-Salmon, said: “The introduction of Clifton’s Holiday Camp which Alma provides for us supports our patients’ rehabilitation journey whilst they are with us.

“It encourages the patients to socialise with one another and get involved and activities that help them as part of their recovery. We actively encourage patients to get dressed in day time clothes whilst with us and not spend each day in their night wear.

Patients Micheal and Jack join in a singalong complete with pom-poms and tambourine. Even Housekeeper Sarah and Ward Clerk David joined in.

“Alma’s passion and dedication to support the rehabilitation of patients at Clifton shines through and she is a born entertainer who uses her skills to support the patients here at Clifton Hospital.

“We look forward to seeing this concept develop further across the hospital to ultimately benefit our patients and the time they spend with us.”

Bingo, quizzes and ‘hoy’ card bingo are just some of the activities within Clifton’s Holiday Camp

One patient, David, 76 from Blackpool, said: “We’ve been playing hoy today and I really enjoyed it. It’s sometimes horrible to be in bed so it was great to come into the day room and join in with something different. It made me feel a lot better.”

The activities are interactive and encourage our patients to get up, get dressed and get moving. This supports Clifton’s adoption of the #EndPJParalysis campaign. Patients are encouraged to get mobile in order to:

    • Maintain their normal routine
    • Keep their independence
    • Prevent loss of muscle strength and aerobic function
    • Lower the risk of infection
    • Prevent pressure sores and falls
    • Reduce the length of time they have to spend in hospital

Former patients of Clifton are also invited to join in the fun. Clifton’s Holiday Camp runs every other Tuesday at 2pm in Ward 1. Visit for more information.



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