Wednesday 21 November 2018

'Give hospital child-friendly name such as Starship'

Main entrance to the Auckland Hospital and directions to the Starship Childrens Hospital. Photo by Michael Bradley/Getty Images
Main entrance to the Auckland Hospital and directions to the Starship Childrens Hospital. Photo by Michael Bradley/Getty Images
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

Psychologists have appealed for the name of the new National Children's Hospital to be changed from the 'Phoenix Children's Hospital Ireland' and replaced with a title such as 'Starship'.

The call follows controversy over the unusual choice of name for the €1bn facility. The main hospital and two satellite centres will be called 'Phoenix Children's Health'. But the Psychological Society of Ireland yesterday said: "The naming of the hospital may seem like a trivial thing. However, it brands the identity of, not just the hospital, but the hospital experience. A child's experience of hospital starts before they walk through the doors for the first time. It starts when they first hear the name of the hospital."

The psychologists said as a first step there should be a "child-friendly, medically appropriate theme that the hospital experience will be built around. Once this theme has been decided, the name of the hospital should be derived so that the name invokes this theme as part of the hospital experience."

They said: "A good example is the National Children's Hospital in New Zealand. It's called Starship and has a 'space-age' theme, which is reflected in its design, layout and imagery."

Irish Independent

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