Evelina London launches films for children having operations

Posted on Friday 25th November 2016
Stills from the Your Operation films showing Nathan the presenter and an example of a nurse assessment

Stills from the films showing Nathan the presenter and an example of a nurse assessment

Children who are due to have an operation at Evelina London Children’s Hospital can now watch two films beforehand to help them prepare.

Coming to hospital can be scary for a child, and it’s even more so if they’re coming for an operation or a test under general anaesthetic. The surroundings are unfamiliar and they may not understand what having an operation means. These new films created by staff at Evelina London aim to help explain to children what will happen to them in a fun and friendly way.

The first, What happens before your operation, explains what will happen at the pre-assessment appointment. At this appointment, we check if children are fit to have a general anaesthetic. It can take some time, so the film was made to help children prepare for what might be quite a long day at the hospital.

Once they’ve seen the pre-assessment film, parents and children can then watch a second film, What happens on the day of the operation. From advice about when they’ll need to stop eating and drinking, to explaining how they will go to sleep before the operation, the film will help to reassure children about their upcoming surgery.

Consultant anaesthetist, Dr Rachel Deacon, was involved in making the films right from the start, and she even stars in one of them.

She said: “It’s really important that children know what will happen when they have an operation because it can be quite frightening.

“Many of the children we see are too young to read about it themselves. We thought, ‘why not make a film for them?’ so that children of all ages would be able to understand what will happen.

“We hope that both parents and children will find them helpful.”

Keep an eye out for CBeebies favourite, Dr Ranj, who makes a cameo appearance in both films!

There are also three new operations webpages for parents to learn more about their child’s operation.

The films were made possible thanks to funding from Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity.