A first-of-its kind bilingual podcast offering advice and support to children visiting hospital is being piloted in Dundee.
The project, a collaboration between medical staff at Ninewells Hospital, musicians, local schoolchildren and Dundee City Council’s accessibility and inclusion service, is aimed at youngsters admitted for surgery or other serious medical procedures.
The Big Brave podcast has already seen audio clips provided in English, Arabic, Polish and Punjabi but the team behind the resource hope further recordings can be made in other languages, and for a range of different patient experiences.
Dr Kate Arrow, a specialty registrar in anaesthesia at Ninewells Hospital and honorary lecturer at Dundee University, approached the local authority’s bilingual service with the idea to help beat the banality of standard patient information leaflets.
She said: “What we’re trying to do is think about the questions families have before they come to hospital and provide information for children in quite a straightforward, factual way, but also in a way they will enjoy.
“We were keen that we had young people speaking on the podcast to make it more accessible so we had three girls aged 12-17, all at schools in the Dundee area, recording in Arabic, Polish and Punjabi.
“At the moment, it’s really a prototype but there are so many ways I can see it being applied. No one has patient information on iTunes so it really is the first of its kind.”
Dr Arrow said the group was now looking at producing a series for the families of intensive care patients setting out what they can expect while their loved one is in hospital and the different aspects of treatment.
Moreen Milne, principal teacher at the accessibility and inclusion service, said the youngsters who took part in recording the podcasts had enjoyed the experience and found it “very interesting”.
She said: “I think everyone thinks this is a great idea. We know very well the difficulties families can face in accessing information, so to hear it in their first language can really be very helpful.
“There is the potential for it to be done in other languages as well and I think it could be very beneficial at a time when a person is already feeling quite scared.”
The podcast and links to provide feedback are available at thebigbrave.com