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Congratulations to WCIT on their anniversary – it is 10 years ago that Chelsea Children’s Hospital School and the Worshipful Company of Information Technologist collided – saw stars and became irrevocably entwined.


In those days I picked blackberries rather than communicating on them, stared out of windows and thought wikepaedia was a Hans Christian Anderson character and routers and blue tooth suggested a visit to the dentist – rather than an aid to communication.

How incredibly far we have soared, with the advice, knowledge and generosity of Colin Knight, Shai Unradia and other members of WCIT too numerous to mention.

At the time of the collision – we had a few stand alone computers – what have we achieved in the last decade:

We now have a common school network which extends across Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, Royal Brompton Hospital, St. Mary’s Hospital and Collingham Gardens Child and family Unit. This network can be further extended to staff/pupils working from home by means of a Virtual Private Network (VPN). The network has had a huge impact on staff, enabling them to quickly and easily access their documents regardless of the site they are working at.

We have worked hard with CCHS ICT staff and WCIT to look at ways of alleviating the stress of our long term and recurrent patients being in isolation. Children and Young people with Cystic Fibrosis can no longer spend time together on admission, but have to spend their two to three week admissions in isolation. These admission can occur up to five times a year – throughout their lives. Patients who have to face isolation for many weeks following a bone marrow transplant at St. Mary’s, are effected emotionally by the loss of contact with their friends. The capacity of our new network has given us the opportunity to tackle this problem with a high quality video conferencing network. With the money raised by WCIT we have been able to purchase a new high definition video conferencing camera and a multi-party video controller – this system allows up to 12 participants to join a single video conference. Pupils use laptops with webcams and high quality video conferencing software to take pert.

The school has its own web site, a European partners web site www.friendswithoutborders.org and following our successful HOPE (Hospital organisation of Pedagogues in Europe) conference (with a special sponsored dinner at the Institute of Directors by WCIT) we have also developed a conference web site www.gettingbettertogether.com.
A message from Leo (14 year old with cystic fibrosis) "I had just discovered I have diabetes as well as CF and I felt miserable about being in isolation – however the ability to video conference with the other children in hospital – with museums and galleries

And to link up to the lessons in the classroom has made my time in hospital so much better. – thank you to WVIT for your support of the hospital school"

Congratulations to you all on your anniversary and who knows what we may achieve together in the future.

Janette Steel, Principal, Chelsea Children’s Hospital School




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