CHILDREN in 'discomfort and distress' at the Orthopaedic Hospital are now feeling less stressed thanks to a donation of teddy bears.

Thanks to a generous donation from Teddies for Loving Care (TLC) by Shropshire Freemasons, children who are having surgery at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH), will now be handed one of the teddies in the Recovery Department.

Paediatric recovery nurse, Rachel Harris, asked the Shropshire Freemasons for the bears which are usually donated to accident and emergency departments.

“Normally the teddies are donated to accident and emergency departments or minor injury units but I asked the question whether we would be eligible and the Shropshire Freemasons were more than happy to support," said Rachel.

“We give the bears to those children who are in particular distress and discomfort or those who have shown bravery through a scary time.

“As well as the teddies, we have also created a health certificate for children to complete for their bear and the best part is, the children are free to take their teddy back to the ward and then home."

The team also use the bears to show children what their hip spica cast – which hold the hips and thighs in position to support healing – will look like following their surgery.

Claire Heathfield, recovery manager was delighted to be able to present the children with the soft toys.

She said: “We’re delighted to be working with both TLC and the Shropshire Freemasons to give our paediatric patients some comfort during a stressful time.

“For a child, having an operation can be an extremely distressing situation – for both the individual and their parents – and these teddies are already proving to work effectively as a distraction technique.

“The children absolutely love the bears when they receive one, and the scheme is also helping staff build a positive relationship with the child and their parents which is vital.”