THE Adver was allowed a sneak peak at the Great Western Hospital’s new dedicated children’s accident and emergency department yesterday, before its official inauguration in June.

The unit has already welcomed scores of children for treatment since opening to patients in January.

Building work on the unit began last summer, as well as a redesign of the overall Emergency Department.

The Adver’s Making It Better appeal contributed £13,000 towards toys, games and a refreshment stand, thanks to Swindonians’ generous donations.

The major revamp means children no longer have to wait alongside drunks on Friday and Saturday nights, in an often cramped waiting room, with harsh lighting and clinical surroundings during an upsetting time.

This Is Wiltshire:

  • Charlotte Hooker with her art

The facilities include a separate and calmer children’s waiting room and treatment area with five private cubicles, away from the busy adult unit.

Colourful and welcoming murals based on local pupils’ artwork were also unveiled yesterday by the young artists themselves who had the opportunity to see for the first time what their designs looked like in the unit.

Their pieces, which include drawings of the Simpsons and Monsters Inc’s Mike Wazowski, were selected after much deliberation out of 400 entries as part of a Swindon-wide competition.

Clinical matron Annette Baskerville said the comfortable unit had made a huge difference to the overall care children received.

“It’s far more suitable and appropriate for the children,” she said. “They like the vibrancy of the pictures on the walls and feel more comfortable when they walk in. It just makes it easier for them.

“It is designed and structured around the children and separate from the adult department. We wanted to make sure the children were safeguarded and we can do that now, which is fantastic.”

This Is Wiltshire:

  • Mia Smith with her picture

To donate towards more toys and iPads for the unit visit GWH-ED-Appeal or text GWED50 with your amount to 70070. Alternatively, donate in person at the cashiers’ office on the ground floor, call Jennifer Green about other ways to fundraise on 01793 605631, or email her at

Cheques can be made out to Great Western Hospital and sent to Fundraising Manager, Fundraising Department, Trust HQ, Floor Two, Great Western Hospital, Marlborough Road, Swindon, Wiltshire SN3 6BB.