Coming to you live from Queensland Children's Hospital

Friday, 17 July, 2020

Coming to you live from Queensland Children's Hospital

Juiced TV — the TV show made by kids in hospital for kids in hospital — has been operating at Queensland Children’s Hospital for five years, bringing fun, laughter and interactive entertainment to young hospital guests and their families.

The initiative — made possible with the support of Juiced TV’s Founding Partner Children’s Hospital Foundation, Major Partner QSuper, as well as the support of Children’s Health Queensland — aims to reduce the isolation felt by kids in hospital and help to normalise the hospital environment.

As an in-hospital service, the initiative allows the kids to take the reins and get involved with anchoring programs, interviewing special guests, taking part in workshops and helping explain parts of the hospital experience to their peers who watch from their bedside entertainment system.

The pandemic problem

With COVID-19 came precautions and restrictions that would put Juiced TV’s operations and impact on hold. Social distancing and visitor restrictions meant that the crew could no longer film on-site, with kids unable to participate in the hands-on experiences provided by the initiative.

With an unquestionable need to prioritise safety, the Juiced TV team turned to technology — to allow the interaction and connection between the kids to continue, virtually — by launching Juiced TV Live.

Juiced TV Founder and Managing Director Pip Forbes said going virtual was key to bringing laughter, energy and smiles back into hospital wards, while still ensuring the health and safety of patients and healthcare workers.

“We’ve created a customised live streaming platform that allows us to connect multiple patients with a special guest from anywhere in the world, while being able to include our graphics, music and pre-produced content to ensure the production quality of each episode is on par with our usual program,” Forbes said.

The live show is hosted by patients in real time and broadcast through Facebook, which allows patients who are not currently admitted and the broader hospital community to join the experience. Patients can watch the live episodes, have their say about program content and film their own questions or messages for the special guests, to be included in the broadcast.

“These unprecedented times have called for a shake-up of our regular Juiced TV program and we’re really excited to be able to introduce a virtual solution to reignite some fun into the hospital journey for the kids,” Forbes said.

“Kids in hospital already feel a bit isolated because they’re not at home with their family and friends, but the COVID-19 social restrictions have meant face-to-face visits have had to be limited, making a hospital stay even more lonely. Through Juiced TV Live, we want to change that.”

The program is co-streamed across the bedside patient entertainment systems within the Queensland Children’s Hospital, with the team hoping to expand and connect the hospital community across Australia.

The first episode of Juiced TV Live was hosted by Katie from the Queensland Children’s Hospital, with a surprise virtual visit from one of Australia’s most notable actresses turned Hollywood superstar, Margot Robbie.

To date, 50 patients have participated in the virtual visits, which have featured other high-profile guests like Chris Hemsworth and Dean Lewis. The episodes are continuing to be streamed by more and more users each week, reaching a total of 30,000 views since the first live stream.

Image caption: A virtual visit from Chris Hemsworth has been a highlight on Juiced TV Live.

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