YOUNG patients who went to the Royal Berkshire Hospital for their clinic appointments recently took part in a feedback event about their visit.

More than 70 children, from toddlers to teenagers, took part in the two day event where they were asked what went well during their visit to hospital, and what they felt could be better.

A survey by staff asked for suggestions about the best ways of communicating with them, and medics are now looking to use specially made mood cards with emojis for youngsters to stick by their bedsides to convey whether they are feeling happy, sad, worried, confused or embarrassed.

During the sessions, staff also hung out a ‘washing line’ in the clinic for youngsters to peg their ‘tops and pants’ comments – pants being things they didn't like and tops being things they did.

Claire Lord, ambulatory care sister for Paediatrics, said: "I'm very pleased to say we got more tops than pants!

"Comments included ‘hospital is great, staff are very caring and explain what's going to happen’ and ‘they help me with my grommets.'"

Pants suggestions mentioned not liking blood tests, not being able to get to sleep on the ward and having to go home.

Ms Lord, who organised the event along with colleagues from the play team and patient leaders. added: "We're going through all the suggestions and they will help us shape the way we welcome children into the hospital, keep them informed about their treatment and let them know what’s going to happen and when."

The emoji scheme is one of a number of ways staff use new ideas to make the hospital a more inviting place for young patients.

An app which guides children through what to expect when they have an MRI scan is proving popular, and in a number of cases it has calmed the child down so much they don't need an anaesthetic before the scan.

Staff are now looking at using an app which will guide youngsters through their whole hospital stay, starting before they even set foot in the wards.