A sensory room officially opened in the children’s outpatient department and Child Development Centre, at Fairfield General Hospital this month.
With colourful-yet-subdued lighting and planets projected in serene orbit along a wall, the space is at once calming and distracting, a peaceful place away from the busy waiting room for children with sensory processing difficulties.
Officially opening the tranquil space, Debi Walker director at First Point Family Support Services – and parent to 21-year-old who has benefited from Fairfield General Hospital’s nursing and paediatric team for the past 20 years – said: “This amazing new sensory room provides a therapeutic space for children attending appointments here.”
“It’s a wonderful environment that gives children more control and choice over sensory changes and encourages that personalised sensory input which helps the children be calm and focus on themselves to that they can be better prepared for interacting with others and engaging in their appointment.”
The sensory room was made possible by a charity donation from the Post Graduate Medical Education Fund, created as a result of a large donation from the late Dr Syed Haider’s will. The first consultant paediatrician in Bury, Dr Haider established a 29-bed paediatric inpatient and outpatient unit, along with a 17-cot neonatal unit and a children’s medical emergency department between 1973 and 1997.
Although Bury’s acute children’s services closed in 2012 and currently provides Outpatient Paediatrics Department services only, the unit’s sister Susannah Turner said: “Dr Haider was an extremely dedicated paediatrician – many of today’s doctors and nursing staff were trained by him.”
Debi adds: “Dr Haider was a pillar of our community – a well-respected man and a long-serving paediatrician. May his legacy continue – it will make a tremendous difference to children today and we thank him for this.”
Closing the speeches, clinical lead for community paediatrics, Dr Merijam Kikic said: This is a great achievement for our department and has already made a positive change for our children waiting to be seen in Paediatric Outpatients Department at Fairfield General Hospital. Thank you again to a very generous donation from Dr Haider’s charity fund.
The sensory room has unofficially been in use since 2022, making a positive difference to many children now attending the department.