New Parent Zone in Kraków

News date: September 25, 2019
New Parent Zone in Kraków

In July, an amendment was introduced to the Act of 6 November 2008 on Patients' Rights and the Commissioner for Patients' Rights. It means that, from now on, hospitals cannot request additional fees from parents for staying in a hospital with their children and, most importantly, the hospitals are required to provide decent accommodation to guardians. On the one hand, it is great news for little patients and their parents, on the other hand it poses a real organisational and financial challenge for the hospitals.


Only a fraction of the Polish paediatrics departments can provide relatively comfortable conditions for the parents during the time they look after their children. There is simply not enough space. The parents do not have the space to sleep or cook. Not to mention the space for playing with the children outside their hospital room. Here Budimex comes to the rescue. For the past 6 years, as part of the “Parent Zone. Budimex for Children” program, it has been creating unique spaces in hospitals across Poland. In the Parent Zones the youngest patients and their guardians can take a break from the hospital routine, have some coffee or play in a safe space that was designed especially for that purpose. Moreover, as part of the Program, Budimex often equips hospital buildings with extra beds and armchairs that are necessary for the parents who stay with their children day and night. “Each Parent Zone is customised to a particular facility. Functionality and utility combined with the program mission is the starting point for the concept of the zone,” emphasises Katarzyna Wójcik from Budimex.


On 25 September, the 31st Parent Zone was opened in John Paul II Specialist Hospital in Kraków. The Department of Paediatrics and Children’s Neurology now features a kitchenette with a relaxation zone for parents and a sensory play room. The space is open 24 hours. “This makes life easier, especially for the parents and neurological patients who have to wait for examinations until late night. EEG tests must be often done in the morning, after a sleepless night,” explains dr n. med Ryszard Konior, Head of Department. “The implementation of the sensory zone definitely facilitates the rehabilitation process, provides our little patients with the tools that help them train their balance, sensory functions, concentration and motor coordination. It is also a relaxation zone for those patients who receive stimuli more intensively than they should. The eye-catching equipment in the sensory zone enlivens both exercises and hospital stay for children and certainly makes them smile more often,” adds mgr Agnieszka Utrata, a physical therapist. Budimex also decided to equip the Department of Infectious Diseases and Children’s Haematology with extra chairs for feeding and recliner chairs on which the parents can sleep.


The project on the Parent Zone in Kraków was inspired with a fairy-tale animal world. The sensory zone features a cosy little house where children can hide from the outside world. The wall is covered with manipulative toys and the installations and radiator are covered behind the shadows of forest animals. The TV is hanging from a tree and soft armchairs were placed under it. The kitchenette is painted in wooden and dark blue shades and, thanks to the table and comfortable sofa, the place looks more like a homey kitchen than a hospital hallway. The homely atmosphere was also created by a special guest: Darek Wardziak, a carpenter famous for TV shows, who made furniture for the dollhouse. As always, Budimex volunteers helped with the final works.


The following people took part in the opening of the 31st Parent Zone: Elżbieta Kois-Żurek, Head of the Department of Social Politics and Health in UMK (City Hall in Kraków), hospital’s representatives, led by Acting Director dr hab.n.med. Stanisław Rumian and Head of Department of Paediatrics and Children’s Neurology – dr n.med. Ryszard Konior, Marcin Mazur – Regional Director of Budimex SA, Budimex volunteers, parents and, most importantly, the little patients.
The children gave their gifts and thanks on behalf of the youngest patients but, above all, they tested out the Zone and started playing almost immediately.