MediCinema providing entertainment to children in hospital

Over 2,000 NHS patients have been watching major Hollywood blockbusters free from the comfort of their own beds at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI), thanks to a grant of £50,000 to MediCinema.

MediCinema is a charity that builds and runs state of the art cinemas in hospitals with space for beds, wheelchairs and equipment. Their cinemas had to be suspended in mid-March because of the pandemic, but the charity quickly pivoted to provide a new bedside service.

With visitors restricted due to COVID-19, patients are even more in need of an escape from their treatment. Though the grant was originally awarded to help fund the in-hospital cinema screenings for children and young people at the RVI, the suspension of this service means the money will now help MediCinema bring the magic of film directly to the bedsides of patients on the wards.

In the first two months, patients viewed over 5600 hours of fantastic movies via the Hospedia bedside service, including Toy Story 4, Ghostbusters, Paddington 2, A Dogs Journey, The Lego Movie 2 and Moana.

Kat Mason, Chief Executive of MediCinema said: “We are extremely grateful to Northumberland Freemasons for this generous grant.  As well as keeping our bedside screening services running it will also enable us to plan the safe reopening of our Royal Victoria Infirmary MediCinema and will help fund the pediatric screenings once the cinema is re-open.”

Helga Charters, Associate Director of Nursing and Children’s Services at Newcastle Hospitals said: “Having the MediCinema in our hospital has provided the most wonderful opportunity for children, young people and adults within our care the chance to have some welcome ‘escapism’ from the treatment they are all undergoing. We’re incredibly grateful that our patients can view new releases daily at their bedside. The feedback from children, families and adult patients has been so incredibly positive”.

Ian Craig, Head of Northumberland Freemasons said: “I’m delighted we’ve been able to help MediCinema bring these wonderful films straight to the bedsides of so many patients, both young and young at heart, at the RVI. As anyone who’s been in hospital will know, having a good movie to take your mind of your treatment is the best medicine.”

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