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P-109 Little havens children’s hospice stay and play group
  1. Evie Bocking and
  2. Lucy Smith
  1. Havens Hospices, Southend-on-Sea, UK


Introduction Parents using the children’s hospice fed back that they would like to access a play group where they can meet other families in similar situations and feel safe and cared for with their children. We introduced a ‘stay and play’ group to meet the identified need and improve access for children with additional needs and improve service provision.


  • Reduce inequality in access to play groups for children with different needs.

  • Provide a play group for under 4s for children who have different needs.

  • Improve parents’ ability to adapt and play with their children.

  • Help children meet their potential through play.

  • Enable parents to meet others in similar situations and build their own network.

  • Enhance parent and carer confidence and resilience, transferable to the community setting.

  • Introduce families and children to the hospice through a less daunting approach.


  • Whole case load reviewed with a newly introduced holistic assessment.

  • Parents with children under 4 identified they were not accessing play groups because their child’s needs could not be met.

  • Parents identified as socially isolated.

  • 26 families were identified as having a child under 4 from the patient administration system.

  • Parents were invited to attend the ‘stay and play’ group.

  • At four weeks a questionnaire was administered with parents to evaluate the group.

  • Four weekly questionnaires are planned.


  • At four weeks the ‘stay and play’ group was positively evaluated.

  • Families feel safe.

  • Families can talk to other families who understand their child’s needs.

  • Decision to continue with the group and continue to evaluate regularly.

Conclusion This is a safe space for families to attend, allow their child to play and feel supported and understood. Plans to extend the age range to five and under and develop this concept further.

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