New virtual tour launches at Norfolk and Norwich

A virtual tour of Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals has been launched to support young patients and their families when preparing for a hospital operation.

A new virtual reality doctor, nurse and anaesthetist have joined the workforce at the Jenny Lind Children’s Hospital as part of the Little Journey App.

The free to download smartphone app gives a virtual tour of the children’s day ward, anaesthetics room and recovery room. The app aims to ease nerves for young patients before they have surgery or require a test under a general anaesthetic.

The launch of Little Journey, which has been funded by the N&N Hospitals Charity, aims to reduce anxiety for patients by helping to familiarise themselves with the hospital environment from the comfort of their own homes.

Animated characters such as Dr Jay explain what happens when patients require a general anaesthetic and an introduction to some of the equipment used.

The app can also be used in 3D using a virtual reality headset and has videos tailored to children between the ages of three and 12.

Teresa Miles, Matron for Children and Young People, said “We are thrilled to be launching the Little Journey App at NNUH, which gives an extra aid to help our patients and families prepare for a hospital procedure.”

“Having an operation is a stressful time for anyone and our teams do a great job at helping to ease their anxiety and explain what is happening when they arrive.”

“This interactive app will hopefully ease the anxiety for patients as they prepare at home for their hospital admission. The virtual tour helps patients to familiarise themselves with the hospital and the handy checklists help them to prepare before they come into hospital.”

Prof Nancy Fontaine, NNUH Chief Nurse, added “I’m delighted we have introduced the Little Journey App to help improve patient experience. I have seen and heard from children and parents who have used the Little Journey App and the significant impact this made to reducing anxiety and making the hospital experience a much more exciting and contemporary experience.”