The specially designed in-hospital cinema, due to open in 2024, will be funded exclusively by Alder Hey Children’s Charity and MediCinema and will be the only one in a solely paediatric hospital in the UK and the first in the North West. The colourful cinema will accommodate beds, wheelchairs, and medical equipment and show the latest movies for free to transform the hospital experience for children and young people at Alder Hey.
Specialist trained volunteers will be joined by Alder Hey Nurses who will have the option of working for the MediCinema outside of their usual rota. These teams will accompany patients and families to screenings, making it possible for them to enjoy the latest films just like many cinemagoers whilst still receiving any care that they need. This connection to the outside world will be a ray of light in the lives of those who need it most when it opens in 2024 and will be able to host thousands of visitors every year.
MediCinema already operates successfully in five major NHS Trusts and Health Boards across the UK, boosting patient and family wellbeing with the magic of film during hospital stays. With an impressive 24-year track record, their cinema-based programmes improve the emotional, psychological, and physical health of patients. This includes reducing feelings of isolation, stress, and anxiety while enhancing patient resilience and supporting recovery.
According to MediCinema’s ongoing research, 86% of MediCinema attendees find that the experience supports their mental health and helps them cope. An amazing 94% say it reduces the isolation they feel in the hospital, and 93% report a reduction in stress and anxiety. The majority (56%) of patients surveyed shared that their MediCinema experience helps alleviate pain.
The build will be funded by grants and donations. Once opened, Alder Hey patients and families will be able to access the film screenings free-of-charge. Alder Hey are launching an appeal this month calling for people to donate the equivalent cost of a cinema ticket to their Children’s Charity to contribute towards the first year’s running costs.
The MediCinema journey at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital promises to be a heart-warming tale of healing, hope, and movie magic, with young patients and their families as the stars of the show.
Fiona Ashcroft, Chief Executive at Alder Hey Children’s Charity said: “This project is so exciting – the charity already funds so much at Alder Hey that helps to make a hospital stay the best it can be for our children and this new MediCinema will ensure the hospital has that something extra for them too, adding a sprinkle of movie magic to a child’s journey!”
Colin Lawrence, CEO of MediCinema said: “We are so proud to be building our next MediCinema inside Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. We’ve been bringing the benefits of the big screen to patients in NHS hospitals for more than 20 years, and over that time seen the extraordinary range of impact and benefit it can have. We want to bring that positive impact to more NHS patients across the UK, and are delighted for the opportunity to do just that for close to 5000 children and their families every year at this prestigious hospital.”
Nathan Askew, Chief Nursing Officer at Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust said: “Being in hospital can be challenging for children and young people and they can miss out on so many aspects of a normal childhood. Going to the cinema can be something we take for granted, and we will all have happy memories of not just the film but sharing that experience with others. Having a cinema within our hospital means we can give those children and young people who can’t normally go the opportunity to still have that magical movie experience. We also plan to run special screenings for some of our parents and families. It will make a massive difference to everyone here.”