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The calming influence of art

Radiology room ED afterweb

Hospital can be a frightening place for anyone, but especially for children and their families. The radiology team at the Royal Berkshire Hospital recently set up a special interest paediatric group, with the aim of making a visit to their department a far less daunting experience for their younger patients.


With the help of art students from Reading College and a local artist, the suite of paediatric radiology rooms at the hospital are being transformed to provide a friendly environment to help put children at ease.


The students completed their first make-over, changing a dull and uninspiring wall in a quiet general x-ray room, frequently used for children who need a calm space, into a fun and engaging piece of artwork entitled ‘Cats in Space’.


Next to receive a face-lift with a colourful mural was the paediatric radiology room in the Emergency Department.


David Cotton, a member of the Reading Guild of Artists, was tasked with brightening up the room – a challenging commission that needed something very special. 


David decided on an entertaining design of balloons and flying animals: “Still being a child at heart it really wasn’t too difficult to come up with a design. I wanted to create something that would cross all boundaries and balloons are loved by most people. I thought the bright colours, numbers and flying animals would make a perfect focal point for the nurses to engage the children, diverting their attention during the x-ray process.


“It was a pleasure to be able to use my art in this way and I hope the mural will amuse the many children who need to use the facility.”


Mathew Graham, Lead Radiographer – Plain Film and project lead said: “We are delighted that the students and David agreed to work with us on improving the environment for our younger patients.  The illustrations and artwork completed so far have transformed the rooms and are a fabulous distraction for the children, helping to keep them occupied so reducing anxiety while their radiography tests are carried out. 


“Reading College are now adding the finishing touches to another room in the main x-ray department, an immersive enchanted forest theme. The students have worked so hard, we cannot thank them enough.  We are looking forward to working with Reading College in the future!”


“We are also very grateful to Phillips who kindly donated adaptive mood lighting, which really does add the finishing touch to the Emergency Department x-ray."

June 2017

Enchanted Forest

enchanted forestweb

Cats in Space

Cats in space

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