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New book to help children at Glasgow hospital facing kidney transplant

19 June 2023

A new set of books have been launched today, specially tailored to support children with kidney disease being treated at Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Children.

The hospital will be gifted 100 of the 'My New Kidney’ full colour hardback books created by Get Better Books and funded by Kidney Research UK and the James Weir Foundation to help children prepare for a kidney transplant. The books are hand finished with holographic sticker, gold envelope and letter, felt tips and printed drawstring bag. They will also receive 60 books designed for older children and teenagers.

Get Better Books Glasgow Team
From left to right, Diane King (Lead nurse, clinical nurse specialist), Georgia (Get Better Books), David Hughes (Kidney Research UK Trustee), Dr Ben Reynolds, Sara Banks (Senior Charge Nurse).

About the bespoke books

The playful, interactive books show what to expect in the lead up to and after their operation using a fun approach to alleviate anxiety. Titled ‘My New Kidney’, the book for children is designed to encourage the recipients to colour, comment, write questions, draw and stick things in – creating important engagement so families can explore the transplant process together. A book specifically designed for older children and teenagers will also be available designed with content more appropriate for their age.

Front cover of the My New Kidney book
The Get Better Book for children at Glasgow Hospital

The books have been made bespoke to the patients and the hospital they attend. Including a map of Glasgow showing the children a route home from their operation, they create a unique Scottish feel both culturally and geographically.

“We wanted to offer support to families, at what can be a very stressful time,” explained Brogan Ritchie, community and events manager from Kidney Research UK. “The children will often have been through a great deal in their short lives. The team at Get Better Books have worked closely with Dr Reynolds and the staff at the hospital and created this fantastic guide for children, siblings and their parents.”

All children who are preparing for a transplant will receive their own copy of the book which comes with felt tips and a ‘My New Kidney’ drawstring bag. The book can be used by the children and their families to talk about the transplant before, during and afterwards.

Non-profit publishers Get Better Books have previously worked with Great Ormond Street Hospital and Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool to create bespoke patient materials for children facing a range of clinical conditions. Their designer and illustrator Georgina Potier said: “We started Get Better Books with the goal of creating beautiful, interactive books and communication design to help paediatric patients understand their treatment, alleviate anxiety and get better!”

How the books will support children

Dr Ben Reynolds, consultant paediatric nephrologist at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: “When you sit down with a child and explain the complex and unfamiliar process of having a transplant, it can be really difficult not to create some level of anxiety within them and their parents. These books are fantastic resources that help them through all the stages of their upcoming procedure in a really fun and silly way too. It is fantastic to have such a brilliant book in our hands and I know it will help so many children understand their transplant journey.”

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