Hospitals Think Bingo Can 'Boost The Morale' Of Their Patients
13/01/2011, Players

The British Medical Association is considering the introduction of the bingo games in hospitals to boost the morale of the patients, to aid their recovery and to reduce the patients' boredom.

According to the BMA, traditional fun games such as bingo and cluedo could speed the recovery and save the NHS's money, beating boredom and keeping patients happy in same time.

Dr. Vivienne Nathanson, the BMA's head of science and ethics said:
“What people sometimes forget is that while helping people to feel better during their hospital stay we can reduce their need for painkillers, their likelihood of getting some depression and perhaps not eating enough.”
“All of these things will limit their recovery and if we can speed people's recovery, they have shorter time in hospital, shorter time for the problems of being in hospital and of course save money.”

Dr. Vivienne Nathanson suggested that simple measures such as: making the hospital rooms sunnier, with more natural light and even entertaining patients with music, drama or games, could help patients feel better.

A spokesperson from the Department of Health suggested that healthcare professionals should plan care according to each patient's individual needs “to achieve the best possible clinical outcomes”.

Katherine Murphy of the Patients Association welcomed the BMA's report, hoping that this would serve as a “wake up call to healthcare providers to see the person behind the patient and to treat them with the dignity and respect they deserve... Healthcare professionals must stop treating people as widgets on a production line or a statistic and treat the person as a human being,” she added.

The Salisbury District Hospital in Wiltshire has already experienced this non-conventional technique, providing their patients with individual and group activities, run by volunteers who played card games, arranged bingo games with elderly people and even read the newspaper to them.
A spokesperson from the Salisbury District Hospital said the initiative, that was launched last year, has been so successful that the hospital hopes to extend it to younger patients as well.

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