Play in Hospital Week

Play In Hospital Week aims to raise awareness of the benefits of play in the treatment of poorly children across the UK. It is organised by the National Association of Health Play Specialists (NAHPS), which aims to promote and ensure the provision of appropriate therapeutic and stimulating play facilities in healthcare and Starlight Children’s Foundation, which brightens the lives of over half a million poorly children in the UK each year.

w/c 9th October 2023 Play in Hospital Week (PIHW)

Theme: Innovations and Creativity in Play

Once again, this year we are celebrating the Starlight Health Play Awards during Play Week. Nominations are now closed.

Categories are:
  • Health play specialist of the year
  • Play team of the year
  • Protector of play
  • Mentor of the year
We will be sharing the stories of our winners and runners up, keep an eye out as it could be one of your colleagues!

How to get involved in PIHW: 

  • Share photos of what you are getting up to, to celebrate PIHW on social media using the hashtag #PIHW and tagging @starlight_uk and @nahps_official_ and speak to your communications team about letting local media know
  • Starlight activity pack will be available to download soon

Please find below details of the upcoming Starlight webinars leading up to PIHW:

Bookings Opening!


Monday 11th September 12.30 – 13.30

Advocating for Health Play Practice

Thursday 21st September 12.30 – 13.30

Embedding Children and Young People’s Participation in Play & Healthcare

Wednesday 27th September 12.30 – 13.30

A Common Purpose – the Taskforce on Children’s Play in Healthcare

We would love for you to share your preparation and celebration of Play in Hospital Week on social media, using the hashtag #PIHW. Don’t forget to tag @starlight_uk and @nahps_official_

October 2021

“Playing through the pandemic – a narrative of positive interventions”

This theme aims to celebrate how play teams have been keeping play at the heart of their work during the pandemic.

We are delighted to be working with Oxford University Hospital alongside Starlight to launch this year’s week.

October 2020

‘Play Well Together’

During these uncertain and strange times, play is even more important to children and young people.  ‘Play Well Together’ can mean so many things but incorporates the importance of how effective play is for many, both children and adults.  Whether to you, ‘Play Well Together’ means working effectively with other members of the MDT for the benefit of the patient and family, or playing to aid recovery at the bed side, or families having the time, space and ability to play well together as a family unit since lockdown, this theme can mean so many things.  It allows you, your teams, patients and families to embrace your creative sides and think of all the ways you and others ‘Play Well Together’.

NAHPS are excited to see in what ways your creativity and imagination is used for Play in Hospital Week 2020.  Lets remember just how important play is to our patients and families during these strange times and how you all make the difference throughout the year, not just during Play in Hospital Week. Let us celebrate the greatness of PLAY!

‘Play Well Together’

NAHPS are thrilled to share an article written by the Play Team from Ninewells, Dundee.

Showing the importance of ‘Playing Well Together’ especially during these times of COVID.  Thank you Play Team from Ninewells.

Please click the link below to access the full article.

Play in hospital week 2020 article

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