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A summer of Super Saturdays at Sheffield Children’s

A group of professionals are standing outside a medical centre in a big group. They are smiling and wearing bright clothes.
04 August 2023

Super Saturdays are becoming a regular feature in Sheffield Children’s events calendar. We held two in different locations across the city in June this year and have another one planned for September.

Super Saturday events help children and young people access the care and support they need and reduce waiting times.

Since they first began in 2021, Super Saturdays have provided hundreds of children, young people and families with appointments and treatment they would otherwise have had to wait longer for. Thousands of people in the community have also met with teams across the city to learn more about health in exciting and engaging ways. This has included partnering with the University of Sheffield’s Smile Squad and the Teddy Bear Hospital, visits from Theo the bear, and collaborations with lots of community groups, local businesses and NHS organisations.

The first of our June events was a Sheffield Children’s first. Additional appointments, vaccinations and support were delivered entirely in the community in locations in Page Hall and Firth Park.

The second event in June – which had a focus on supporting patients with learning disabilities – included a combination of community activities in Sharrow at the Highfield Adventure Playground and additional appointments at the hospital.

Rosa, who is a member of the Roma community in Sheffield and one of the people who helped run the Page Hall and Firth Park Super Saturday event, said: “Having people in the community to show that the NHS is not just a building, it is humans, is so important. There are a lot of stereotypes about what happens in this area and the event provided a chance for families and professionals to come together in person and to get a better understanding of how health is on people’s radars in different ways.”

Ruth Brown, Sheffield Children’s Chief Executive, said: “It was wonderful to meet people from this community, and health professionals, to find out what matters to them and to hear about what we could be doing differently at Sheffield Children’s. I think we have a big role in this city in how we go out and be part of the community and I’m looking forward to us doing more of this in the future.”

At the learning disability event several children, who might have had to undergo a general anaesthetic for treatment, were able to experience sensory-specific appointments in quiet environments with soft lighting and sounds. This meant they were able to receive their treatment without a general anaesthetic and have a positive experience during a time that can be stressful.

One parent of a patient who attended these special sessions said: “The efforts that the team in MRI went to to support my little boy was incredible. We’ve totally avoided the need for a general anaesthetic in order for him to have his MRI because I was listened to, my experiences as his parent carer were respected and his needs were met. Thank you.”

September is another busy month for Super Saturdays with an event taking place on Saturday 2 September. The theme is ‘back to school’ and teams will be based at Meadowhall and at Pitsmoor Adventure Playpark between 10am-3pm making sure that children and young people are being supported with helpful health advice before they return to school. This will include advice and resources around movement, healthy eating, oral health, feelings, vaccinations (at Meadowhall only), and a teenage element focusing on vaping and sexual health.

There will also be additional clinics and pre-booked appointments happening at the Western Bank hospital site.

Thank you to all the people who have organised, attended or got involved with Super Saturdays so far this summer. You can see more about what we got up to in June in the video below.

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