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NAHPS is a charity which promotes the physical and mental well being of children and young people who are patients in hospital, hospice or receiving medical care at home.

The charity aims to promote high professional standards for play staff, and to ensure the provision of appropriate therapeutic and stimulating play in hospital. NAHPS provides professional support for all health play staff.

Please explore the website for further details about the Association.


HPS in the News!!


Julia Whitaker (Registration Co-ordinator at HPSET) is involved with Upstart Scotland - a campaign to introduce a play-based kindergarten stage for 3-7 year olds into all schools in Scotland. 


She has also participated in a video from the 'Play for Health' angle - please see the links below for all the information and the video!



Professional registration is your licence to practice:

If you are due to re-register with HPSET this July (31/07/2016), you should have received your notification email and re-registration documents by now.

Please check your Inbox and Spam folders and if you have not received an email from HPSET, contact the Registration Co-ordinator at 


National Association of Health Play Specialists

Nominations for the Executive Committee 2016

Submissions to be made by 25 May 2016

Full details and nomination form available here



Play Matters!

‘Using play to support children and young people facing challenges
in their healthcare journey’

The National Association of Health Play Specialists (NAHPS) 41st Annual Conference and Annual General Meeting.

Friday 17th June 2016, UCLH Education Centre Euston Rd London

Draft Programme

“The Role of the Healthcare Play Specialist in Supporting Children and Young People with
Special Needs in the Audiology Clinic”.
Maddalena Branduardi Health Play Specialist, Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital

“Music; an effective communication tool for children and young people with complex health needs”
Rachel Horton, Health Play Assistant, Children’s’ Trust Tadworth

“Celebrating difference: Improving psychological well-being in children and young people living with chronic physical illness”.
Dr. Jennie Robertson Clinical Psychologist, Barts Health and Tara Shea Team Leader Play Department, Barts Health NHS Trust

“How Children Helping Teddies Helps Our Children” The Benefits of the Teddy Hospital
Coral Brady, Head of Play and Young Peoples’ Services
Jane Craig, Health Play Specialist (Teddy Hospital) Glasgow children’s hospital

“Supporting young people with mental health conditions”
Frenchesca James- Senior Play Specialist/Activity coordinator UCLH NHS Trust

“A service evaluation of the impact of person centred needs assessments for patients with Autism-Spectrum Disorder (ASD) prior to attending the Radiology Department”
Angela Brammer –Clinical Effectiveness Lead- Radiology - Central Manchester NHS Foundation Trust

* Teenage Cancer Trust – TBC * Keynote speaker TBC *

The day will also include:

The NAHPS AGM and Annual report- Irene O’Donnell ,Chair NAHPS

Health Play Specialist Education Trust (HPSET) Annual report and update- Tina Clegg, Chair HPSET

UWL update on revalidation of HPS foundation degree and training- Laila Paulsen, Senior Lecturer and Academic Partnership Link Tutor, UWL

Poster presentations

HPSET Mentor of the year award

A variety of exhibitors will be attending including:

* Get Well Gamers * Monkey wellbeing * Rhino UK * HPSET *

Conference fees
NAHPS members- £65.00
Non-members- £ 80.00

Lunch and refreshments are included


Programme of the day available to download here


Booking form available to download here



 Guided Imagery Study Day 2016

Southampton Children’s Hospital

Youth and Play Services

Pain and Guided Imagery

Workshop on Pain and Guided Imagery for Medical, Nursing and Allied Health Professionals.


Saturday 18 June 2016

For further details see events page - click here



***The Third edition of our E-newsletter is available to read

- Click  here to view/download***



A new report by Sense - The Case for Play - available on the resource page

Click here for the link


Updated - East Anglian Regional Group - Click here for more info.. 


**Request By Action for Sick Children**


Action for Sick Children is a national Children’s Charity and is keen to actively promote their Charter for Children’s Health Services as they continue to advocate and lobby for children and young people’s health services.

As a charity they are concerned that, due to a lack of funding for play in hospitals around the country, every child in hospital does not always have full opportunity for play and recreation. They are aware of the fantastic work being carried out in hospitals and other healthcare environments by play specialists and would like to support and enhance this work by providing funding and resources to enhance and promote play in all areas of hospital life. Through this project they hope to enable hospital staff to carry out their amazing work with children whilst actively promoting play, recreation and education for all.

However, they need your help and input to make sure that they are providing a project which will really work to achieve these aims. They have created a short survey designed to help them to both identify what you need but also to collect the evidence that they need to persuade potential donors to help!


They want our members to know about their exciting new project and ask if anyone might be able to spare a few minutes to complete their online survey (link below)


They will shortly be starting to fundraise for this project and hope that by 2017 that they will be able to accept applications for Hospitals and hospices around the country to access these funds and resources.


If you have any questions or would like to discuss this further please do not hesitate to contact:

Holly Dolman

Project Manager

A: Dental Playbox, Unit 1, Rear of 32 Buxton Road, High Lane, Stockport SK6 8BH

T: 01663 766 445










The 2014 Hugh Jolly Lecture 'The Power of Narrative' by Kath Evans

is now available to download from the Publications page - click here


Latest news from the East Midlands NAHPS Branch 

Available Here


The Provision of Play in Health Service Delivery Report:


Kath Evans from NHS England attended our NAHPS Exec planning meeting in September 2013. Since then, there have been discussions about funding for NAHPS to produce an evidence based report on the benefits of play that could be aimed at commissioners.

In August 2014, Kath informed Irene O'Donnell, NAHPS Chair, that we had funding to go ahead and compile the report.

Dr Alison Tonkin (Programme Lead for the FdA at Stanmore College) kindly agreed to take on this project.

This extremely insightful report is now ready to view and download.

Final Full Report

Final Summary Report

Final Appendix 1 - Summary of Research Studies 


Please note:

The above files are in pdf format - you will need Adobe Reader to view


North/North Eastern NAHPS Network - Update**

Thanks to those who have been in contact - but we still need more!!  

Any HPS in the North East of England and Cumbria region interested in joining a

New Networking Group, please contact Dan Notley at



Updated NAHPS Network Regional Branch Directory -

Please click here for more info


NAHPS in the news!

  NAHPS Chair interviewed by BBC on play specialists supporting children to have MRI's without GA 's.



** We're on Twitter !! -  @nahpsofficial and now on Facebook too!





Articles are welcomed from members and non members.

Please submit articles to Cath Hubbuck, production editor of the journal at 

Guidelines for submitting an article can be found under the members page or by emailing Sue at the above email address. 



NAHPS would like to inform your manager of the changes to the professional title, training, registration procedure and the launch of new occupational standards. We believe this will alert managers to the high standards of the profession and the value of recruiting qualified HPS.

Please can you assist us in this process by supplying us with the name and email address of the most relevant contact in your organisation.

The details should be sent to Angela White, NAHPS administrator at

If you are aware of HPS's who are not members please share this email with them so we can build an up to date contact list to raise awareness of developments in the profession.


Dear Colleagues, these 2 letters have been sent by your National Executive Committee to all users workplaces who sent contact details of their managers to Angela White.

Our advice is that you should download this letter for your own reference and also send it as a paper copy to your manager.

If you did not respond with your managers details please do so, you do not have to be a member of NAHPS to do this.

We want to reach as many people as possible so if you are aware of HPS's who may not be members or who do not log on to this website please share it with them.

Introductory Letter
Letter to Trusts


The new Occupational Standards for our profession are now available to download:

New Occupational Standards

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