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‘Clown Doctors bring laughter as medicine to Durham Treetops’

clown doctors

The Children's Foundation is delighted to confirm that it will now be launching Clown Doctors on Treetops children's ward at University Hospital of North Durham, where they will be making a regular appearances and doing what they do best - prescribing laughter as medicine!

The Clown Doctors programme is delivered to children and young people staying in hospital. It supports the recovery of both emotional and physical health using storytelling, music, improvisation, humour and play. Hospitalisation can be traumatic for many youngsters as they and their families cope with illness, medical procedures and often prolonged stays in what can seem like an intimidating and scary environment. The therapy offered by Clown Doctors relieves them of their fears and insecurities, whilst empowering them to come to terms with their situation.

Sister Katie Pike, Manager of Treetops ward, University Hospital of North Durham said: "Children and young peoples' emotional care can be as important as clinical care and our play specialists, in particular, spend time with the children engaging with numerous therapeutic play activities, and using skills in distracting them during potentially invasive procedures. We're delighted that The Clown Doctors will be complementing this approach and sharing some of their own magic with the children and their families."  

Martin Wilson, Executive Director of TIN Arts, which manages the Clown Doctors programme said: "Treetops children's' ward was where the Clown Doctor idea began for me as my son was rushed into hospital at six weeks old and realised that therapeutic play would be a great addition to the wards. It's been a long held ambition of mine to bring them back home to Durham thanks to The Children's Foundation."

Dr Jemima Jamjuggle, Clown Doctor at TIN Arts said: "Sick children with the world on their shoulders allow us in, and for that instant all their worries are forgotten. We can be storytellers, jokers or musicians; whatever the children need in the moment. We are able to make unspeakable connections because parents' anxieties are alleviated for that time whilst their child is sick or injured, but smiling."


Published: 4 April 2018

'In recent times, I have utilised admissions to Richardson for respite direct from my fracture clinic, even at weekends. I have never worked anywhere with this efficiency before - it is reassuring and invaluable for the patient.'

Patient, Lowson / Starling Wards, Richardson Hospital