News

New-look paediatric unit to further improve patient experience

“Rusty the Rhino” makes his presence felt in the Vaal Triangle

Monday, August 27 2018

Netcare Vaalpark Hospital in Sasolburg has officially opened the doors of its newly upgraded paediatric ward, which was developed to further enhance the hospital experience of its young patients and their parents.  

This is according to Sandile Mbele, Gauteng South West regional director of the Netcare hospital division, who recently opened the completely refurbished unit. “In addition to incorporating state-of-the-art medical technology, the redesigned interior of the unit provides our paediatric patients with a comfortable and appealing environment,” he adds.

“When children are admitted to hospital they invariably feel anxious about being away from home. We are therefore constantly striving to make the paediatric wards in our hospitals as warm and welcoming as possible for our young patients,” notes Mbele. “This is why we allow one parent to stay with the child at all times. We also offer these parents comfortable recliners to use.”

“The unit has been designed with a gentle and soothing colour scheme, new furnishings and playful curtains and wallpaper, which serve to create a child-friendly atmosphere.”

According to Netcare Vaalpark Hospital general manager, Nellie Koen, experienced and caring paediatric nursing staff care for the young patients in the 12-bed paediatric unit, which has three isolation rooms to protect vulnerable patients who have compromised immune systems from infection. In addition, there is also a private room.

“To ensure a safe and secure environment for young patients and their parents, there is access control as well as 24-hour security in front of the unit. Any person who wishes to enter has to sign the visitors’ register for access, with the security guard.”

“Maintaining good nutrition is a very important part of their recovery process. Because children who are unwell and are in the unfamiliar surroundings of a healthcare facility often require a little extra coaxing to encourage them to eat, this was also the ideal time to introduce Netcare’s innovative new paediatric catering programme,” says Koen.

The ‘Rusty the Rhino’ catering programme was launched by Dolf Smook, general manager and Justin Jacobs, executive regional chef of the Compass Group and Medirest manager ESS division, Netcare’s catering service supplier. The child-friendly Rusty the Rhino menu has been developed by executive chefs and dieticians and is being introduced at Netcare hospitals with paediatric wards countrywide.

“The Rusty the Rhino programme heralds a new approach to paediatric catering in that the enticing menus not only offer nutritious meals designed to appeal to junior palates, but the friendly rhinoceros character makes the hospital experience more pleasant for children,” observes Koen.

“Rusty the Rhino brings a new element of fun to meal times for children in the hospital. Presentation of food is extremely important, and the meals are served on trays and crockery decorated with Rusty the Rhino’s smiling face. The age-specific menus are designed to be healthy yet enticing for children and include ‘kiddie favourites’ with a wholesome yet tasty twist,” explains Jacobs.
 

“The rhinoceros was chosen for the programme because children in South Africa know and identify with a rhinoceros,” says Jacobs. “At the same time, the rhinoceros character also aims to foster an interest in this endangered species and promote conservation consciousness in the young patients.”


The unit has been designed with a gentle and soothing colour scheme, new furnishings and playful curtains and wallpaper, which serve to create a child-friendly atmosphere.

Rusty the Rhino colouring-in materials and other fun activities are part of the programme to keep children entertained while in hospital. On discharge, each child also receives a ‘bravery award’ certificate. 


The completely refurbished unit incorporates state-of-the-art medical technology, while the redesigned interior of the unit provides our paediatric patients with an appealing environment.


The unit has been designed with a gentle and soothing colour scheme, new furnishings and playful curtains and wallpaper, which serve to create a child-friendly atmosphere.

“We are extremely pleased to welcome Rusty the Rhino with his big smile at Netcare Vaalpark Hospital. We look forward to seeing the smiles of our young patients as they enjoy the special children’s menus and fun activities during their stay at the hospital,” says Koen.

“The upgrade to the paediatric unit forms part of Netcare’s on-going focus to provide, state-of-the-art facilities, exceptional clinical quality and, most important, care that is centred around the needs of each and every one of our patients,” concludes Mbele.

Ends

Issued by: Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Netcare Hospital Division
Contact: Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Meggan Saville or Estene Lotriet-Vorster
Telephone: (011) 469 3016
Email: martina@mnapr.co.za, graeme@mnapr.co.za, meggan@mnapr.co.za or estene@mnapr.co.za

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