Tranquil teepee pitches up at Rotherham Hospital

By Chloe West | 08/02/2019

Tranquil teepee pitches up at Rotherham Hospital
Seen trying out the space (left to right) are: George Briggs, chief operating officer, Dr Rod Kersh, the driving force behind the project, and Sally Kilgariff, acting director for operations. 190178-1

PATIENTS, visitors and health staff arriving at Rotherham Hospital are being greeted by the unusual sight of a giant teepee at the main entrance. 

Inside is a quaint and tranquil living room space, with the aim of offering everyone a place where they can go to relax, chat and look out for each other during what can often be stressful times.

George Briggs, chief operating officer at The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, said hospital bosses knew it could it can often be a worrying and stressful time being in hospital, whether as a patient, visiting friends and family or as someone who works here - and wanted to provide people with a quiet space to go to.

“We’re building on feedback we have received from our patients and visitors about how we can continue improving our services, and something which has been highlighted was the need for somewhere where like this that people can go to have some time to think, reflect and take time away from the day-to-day activities.” Mr Briggs added. 

This teepee has been provided to the hospital for the first time by social movement, Camerados, and will be in place 24 hours a day until the end of April.

The project was set up to return a balance to the busy hospital environment by encouraging togetherness, camaraderie and fraternity where patients, carers and staff can step outside of their normal roles and routines and connect on a human level.

Maff Potts, founder of Camerados, said that at the last hospital the teepee had visited, it had been used by 15,000 people, mostly staff. 

“It is somewhere to escape, no fixing, no service, just being alongside someone and looking out for each other,” Mr Potts added.

“We call it being a camerado, and camerados are popping up all over the country.”

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