How we enhance the children’s ward at North Devon District Hospital

The staff want to make a stay on the Caroline Thorpe Children’s ward a positive experience for every patient. Therefore, Care for Kids North Devon finances projects on the ward, to make life more bearable for patients and their families.

Recently, we have replaced the seating in the playroom and provided a new PC for the 3D pain distraction unit. Our latest major project at the Caroline Thorpe Children’s Ward has seen the transformation of an individual bedroom (cubicle 3).

You can read more about the work we do at the Caroline Thorpe Children’s ward in the tabs below.

In Spring and Summer 2022, we transformed another individual bedroom on the ward. As with our other cubicle transformations, the boring magnolia walls are gone and we now have a bright and comfortable room, with a new TV and digital art on the walls and door. There’s also a super comfy chair bed for parents to snatch some sleep while they watch over their child.

This project was funded by a very generous grant of £20,000 from Perrigo UK, based in Braunton.

In November 2021 we replaced the worn stools in the playroom with some funky new ones! Fun and functional, they can be easily moved around the room and are super comfy for little bottoms. Grown-ups like them too!

In the Summer of 2020 we transformed another individual bedroom on the ward. The plain magnolia walls are gone and we now have a bright and comfortable room, with a new TV and digital art on the walls and door.

The £16,000 project was funded by the Morrison’s Foundation and North Devon and Torridge councillors.

Caroline Thorpe cubicle 4

In May 2019 we transformed the dull, magnolia walls of the playroom with a stunning digital wall art installation. It’s really brightened the room up and is a fantastic improvement for the little people using the room.

Digital art wall at NDDH

The new playroom wall

Cubicle 5 makeover

Thanks to the help of all our supporters, kind donations from individuals and peoples fundraising efforts, in 2018 we managed to give this room its much needed makeover!

What we have done

The whole room has been specially lined and painted, shelves have been fitted, beautiful artwork has been hung, there is a brand new sparkly bathroom and of course, there is a TV (with Netflix too!!!) These improvements will really help families of children who need to stay in hospital longer than others.

Here’s what one grateful family had to say about the new room:

“Thank you so very much ‘Care for kids’ for the beautiful makeover of room 5 you funded on Caroline Thorpe.
Lily & I are so impressed, it is so cheerful & the beautiful Becky Bettersworth pictures are gorgeous.
USB chargers & Netflix too, what a treat, not to mention the glittery new bathroom. It is a lovely environment to stay in less medical than usual .. 5* 10/10 rating from us 
Love from x”


The Parents Room

The total refurbishment of the parents room, completed in April 2017 now offers a comfortable area for parents. This is especially appreciated by parents after stressful days or nights on the ward. It is a room to relax, take five minutes to watch TV or be alone. There are tea and coffee making facilities as well as an area to prepare food with crockery, cutlery and a microwave.


We were able to replace the blinds on the Caroline Thorpe Ward windows, with new custom made blinds, designed with a cloud pattern to match with the room’s design theme! We are all very happy with the results!


One of our latest projects, to replace the sofa in the playroom on the Caroline Thorpe Ward has been a success! Thanks to donations and fundraisers we are able to finance ‘extras’ on the ward, which helps make life a little more bearable for patients and their families spending a length of time on the ward. The sofas look brilliant – on to the next project (re-vamping the Parents room) we go!


Working with Eaton Aerospace in South Molton, we secured the purchase of a 3D Pain Distraction Unit for the treatment room of the ward.

It has helped reduce anxiety of the children when having treatments such as injections and blood tests and makes it easier and safer for the staff to have a calmer patient.

In November 2021, we replaced the PC and upgraded the software using funds from local councillors and the Felicity Wilde Charitable Trust.

Since the relocation of the Children’s Ward to the Ladywell  building of the North Devon District Hospital, Care for Kids has agreed to provide a large, purpose-built cupboard to house the television and provide much needed storage for the Ward’s games; puzzles, art materials etc. The cupboard has become a design feature for the Playroom (Pictures below). Many thanks to Watts Designs for their support, skill, expertise in working with us to achieve this amazing playroom. Thank you to all our supporters, we couldn’t have achieved this without you!


Photography competition

We ran a photography competition in 2015 and the winners got to have their photos used for the stairwell on the Ladywell unit leading up to the Caroline Thorpe Ward and the result looks lovey as I’m sure you will agree.

Christmas on the Ward

Over past years we have provided Christmas meals for parents, Christmas Gifts, Christmas tree with decorations, Pantomime trips, ice-creams and other festive items to make a child’s Christmas on the Ward a little merrier.

Every year we provide party food for the holiday period.

The Children’s Ward of the North Devon District Hospital covers the demographic area from Bude up to Exmoor and over to Hatherleigh; a very large catchment area. The Northern Devon healthcare region encompasses 35,000 children aged 16 years or below. The North Devon District Hospital serves all of the children in the region. Any extras’ provided to the Caroline Thorpe Ward will be very well utilised by an exceptionally large catchment area of children. The Ward is named after the late Caroline Thorpe, wife of former Liberal MP, Jeremy Thorpe.

Each child is under the care of a Consultant. The Consultants work with teams of doctors who deal with most of the day to day treatments. Physiotherapists, the dietitian and other specialists also visit the Ward when needed.

All nursing care on the ward is overseen by a Children’s Nurse. The nursing staff are overseen by the Ward Sister. The nursing staff will provide information about life on the Ward to assist all patients and parents. This advice will cover, for example; what to and what not to bring onto the ward, details of the Clinical Team, Ward Rounds, Pain Relief, Visiting times and considerations, parent breaks from the Ward, details of meals and refreshment facilities, Patient Post, the Playroom, Spiritual Care, School on the Ward and planning for going home.