Celebrating the Queen's 90th Birthday
21 June 2016

Teams at Harlands Ward, Uckfield Community Hospital and Zachary Merton Hospital celebrate the Queen's 90th Birthday

Celebrating the Queen’s 90th Birthday and the role of Occupational Therapy at the Harlands Ward, Uckfield Community Hospital

Harlands Ward is in the process of bringing back a rehab group programme due to the positive benefits it provides in aiding rehabilitation. However, these benefits are often unseen in the hospital/ rehab setting.

A party for the Queen’s 90th birthday was organised for patients, their families and for staff. From the outside it looks like cake and fun, which it was! But the other elements of the group/party are wonderful rehabilitation opportunities for patients, team building opportunities for staff and linking in with and rapport building with families.

This is an example of the opportunities and positivity that groups can offer on an inpatient intermediate care ward, just like Harlands Ward.

The party was planned three weeks in advance and communicated with patients, families and staff to increase engagement and awareness. For many patients who are in hospital and are recovering from illness their spirits can be low and their anxiety can be heightened. Regular group activities encourages active participation in the rehabilitation process, engages staff and increases cognitive and physical ability, and social interaction – which all increase mood. We know that reduced mobility, cognition and results of cognitive and capacity assessments can be affected by low mood.

What we did

An arts and crafts group was used to make decorations for the table and hats. The rehabilitation goals were: using one arm in function, reaching, mobility to the group, transfers on and off chairs, cognitive assessment and rehab, assessing visual/perception skills, making tea in the group (using all the skills required for this activity).

Other important aspects of a group are: being able to see a person rather than a patient, for the person to feel like a person rather than a patient, creativity, choice, social interaction, and a patient as an expert, for support from each other and to discuss topics such as discharge and accepting carers.

At the party there was a quiz about the Royal family which incorporated reminiscence and cognitive rehab, icing of biscuits including hand function, creativity and providing items to share.

One healthcare assistant (HCA) bought in some items to help with the party: the music and homemade biscuits, another HCA made crowns out of cardboard for the extra people in the group. A family member became involved and provided the bunting and the table cloth. Everyone was invited and people popped in and out.

So yes, there was lots of fun and there was lots of cake, which are good things and there was also elements that were assisting patient’s recovery, assisting the rehab team to assess the patient, carrying out rehabilitation goals, and being inclusive to all patients, staff and family members.

So the question isn’t what cake did you have, it’s why aren’t there more groups in the rehabilitation setting?

If you have any questions or would like to speak to one of our physiotherapists, please contact Michael Arrecco or Nikki Churchward.


Celebrations at Zachary Merton Hospital and letter from the Queen

Zachary Merton Hospital hosted a super birthday party for Her Majesty The Queen. All staff worked really hard with shopping, invitation writing, preparing the dining room with beautifully decorated tables, visitors helped us decorate the hospital wards and outside with balloons and bunting, the kitchen prepared cucumber sandwiches (without crusts, naturally), the nurses worked wonders with preparing strawberries and cream, birthday cake and fizz.

The team wrote to the Queen and in December the Queen wrote back and said: "I send you my grateful thanks for the kind words you have sent to me on the occasion of my ninetieth birthday". Read the full correspondence here.