Established 40 years ago, Children in Hospital Ireland (CHI) is a voluntary service that provides play and activities for children in hospitals. The charity has 400 volunteers in 20 hospitals.

“Play is so important for children in hospital, because it gives them something normal and familiar to do when they’re there in an abnormal, foreign situation. Having toys, and interacting with other children, allows them just to be children, and not just patients,” says CHI chief executive officer, Mary O’Connor. (Examiner) >

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During her first pregnancy, Sonia had to be induced in the Coombe. She gave birth in the hospital’s delivery suite but she was mindful of the overcrowding in maternity hospitals, which has grown worse in the past couple of years. (Independent) >

Madam, – [Re new children’s hospital debate] Dr Finbar Lennon writes “The vast majority of the children who will be served by this new hospital are not yet born” (October 19th).

Furthermore, many of the clinicians who will work in this new facility are yet to qualify. As a lowly student of medicine, I feel that the current debacle does nothing to motivate, encourage or inspire tomorrow’s doctors, nor does it bode well for the future of Ireland’s ailing health service. – Yours, etc,

FRED ENGLISH (Times) >>>

1,200 patients in ‘outdated’ institutions to be moved >> Minister for State with responsibility for mental health John Moloney says he wants to close the remaining 14 Victorian-era institutions and provide new community-based facilities. >> Irish Times

Top consultant backs hospital protest > The consultant has already resigned from a steering group set up by the HSE to examine the ‘reconfiguration’ of acute hospital services across the south-east and is now backing a protest march due to take place at the end of the month. >> Indo

Group says obstetricians need to ‘regain trust’ over symphysiotomies > WOMEN who underwent symphysiotomies in this country have called upon obstetricians to concede the procedures should not have taken place over the past century. >> Irish Examiner