What's a Giggle Doctor?
Theodora Giggle Doctors are professional performers, highly trained to work in both the hospital and hospice environments, and with children with disabilities. They come from a wide range of backgrounds and bring with them a variety of skills (amongst our team are actors, entertainers, magicians, musicians and singers).
The Giggle Doctor programme improves children’s experience of hospital, reduces stress and anxiety, increases opportunities for play and improves wellbeing. It is not always about laughter, sometimes the focus of a visit might be on music, magic or storytelling. At other times a few bubbles is what is needed or perhaps just a balloon at the foot of the bed. Regardless, the Giggle Doctors will visit every child who wants to be visited.
The training consists of a rigorous schedule of artistic and medical workshops which cover topics such as child development, infection control, child bereavement and the impact of illness and bereavement on families. Dr Bananas, Dr Dotty and their funny friends are also trained in 'Intensive Interaction' which is a practical approach to working with people with very severe learning difficulties, helping them to relate and communicate better with the people around them. The Giggle Doctors learn the fundamentals of communication, exploring the elements that come into play: position, movement, mirroring, repetition, eye-contact and most of all having fun and providing opportunities for play.
CHILD PROTECTION ABOVE EVERYTHING
All our Giggle Doctors have an enhanced DBS check. They always get permission from the children before approaching them. Nurses also inform us whether or not to visit a particular child. Our service is one of the few things in hospital children can have a say in. To request a copy of our child protection policy please contact
HOSPITALS, HOSPICES AND SPECIALIST CARE CENTRES
We currently visit hospitals and hospices, as well as specialist care centres for children with brain injuries and severe epilespy who need 24 hour individual care.