The Tree Hutt is the name of the children’s area of the Hutt Hospital Emergency Department that has visual, sensory and auditory distractions to help children as they experience the Emergency Department. The overall theme is New Zealand’s beautiful native bush and wildlife.
It has all been designed based on the concept of ‘distraction therapy’.
The aim of distraction therapy is to minimise the trauma of hospital experience for the child and their family. A child-friendly environment with murals, themes and toys is the key to distraction, which increases the child’s ability to cope by stimulating them to concentrate on something else. For many children it takes their minds off the strange smells, sights, sounds, fears and anxiety that they may not have experienced before. Having the use of a focused and therapeutic area helps the child and family to understand the illness, the treatment and the management they receive in the emergency service.
While in the hospital cubicles, the sterile curtains have now been replaced by Tree Hutt curtains [printed on both sides] for children to focus on while lying in the bed. It complements the Tree Hutt journey that begins as soon as they enter the hospital waiting area.
The curtains were provided due to a generous $5,000 grant by the Pelorus Trust.