Sadly, many children in the UK are admitted to hospital for extended periods of time and can feel alienated from the world their friends are experiencing outside. To help combat this, CW+ (the charity for Chelsea and Westminster hospital) has partnered with MediCinema to create a fully digital, 3D cinema inside the hospital that screens the latest film releases free of charge for patients and their families.
The fully accessible 40-seat MedicCinema was officially launched at a special event in October and can accommodate up to five hospital beds and six wheelchairs as well as its 40 special cinema seats. Nursing staff are in attendance at every screening (which take place three times a week) to provide one-to-one support to patients with greater needs.
The impressive facility aims to improve the difficult reality patients face when they are admitted to hospital – often for months at a time – and will not only help provide a few hours of joy and escapism for patients, but help them feel more connected with their friends and current talked-about screens showing in cinemas outside the hospital nationwide.
One of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital’s young patients, Jack, aged 12, who has been in the hospital for eight months now, is excited that he can now experience new cinema releases within this exclusive cinema environment with his family and friends. His mum, Steph, said:
“It can be hard to keep Jack entertained, especially as he has been in here so long, so the CW+ MediCinema really great. It is very hard having Jack in hospital, especially as we don’t live locally and I come nearly every day. The cinema is going to make it a little bit easier for me and it makes Jack happy.”
When the AlFayed Charitable Foundation heard about the proposed CW+ MediCinema in 2013, it immediately saw the benefits it could bring to children, particular those who are in hospital for many months, and pledged to support it.
“Being in a hospital can be daunting and make you feel detached from life at home. It’s so important that children retain that connection with life outside and experience some social normality. The MediCinema will allow patients to do just that; it will offer some escapism, lift their spirits and help them feel better.” – Camilla Al Fayed, The AlFayed Charitable Foundation
Mark Norbury, who attended the launch event and is CEO of CW+ said:
“Escaping into a film for an hour or two will comfort patients and loved ones who are going through a difficult time. It will also help us educate the next generation of clinicians to provide the best care to our patients.”
The artist Andy Council was also commissioned by CW+ to produce two bespoke murals – one of a fox and one of a rhino – to span the exterior walls of the cinema.
The artworks, which are depict different local landmarks in the Chelsea and Fulham area, add to the excitement around the Medicinema and offer uplifting focal points within the hospital itself.
The MediCinema space also doubles as a training and lecture space to train the next generation of surgeons and nurses working in paediatrics.
The CW+ MediCinema is now open and is located on level three of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.. Discover more at cwplus.org.uk/medicinema