A NEW app will help enhance children’s experiences of having surgery at Barnsley Hospital.

The Little Journey smart phone app will give local children a tour of the waiting room to the operating room - to help ease youngsters’ fears and concerns before they head to the Gawber Road site.

Dr Andy Leeson, who was a key driver in creating the app, said: “Children coming in to hospital for a procedure is a big deal for both the child and their carers, with the biggest source of worry often being not knowing what to expect when they get here.

“Little Journey helps to simplify this by allowing them to explore the actual setting they will be coming to with each step along the way being explained to them in ways they can understand with friendly characters.

“Combine this with a VR headset and they can feel like they are actually here.

“Also once the date of a child’s procedure is entered to the app they will receive helpful messages to help them get ready for coming to hospital and advice once their procedure is over.”

The app can be found both on the Apple and Google Play Store.

A spokesperson for Barnsley Hospital added: “We've teamed up with Little Sparks who have developed the Little Journey app.

“It's perfect for kids and teens aged three to 16 who are getting ready for surgery.

“It's already been well received in other hospital trusts, and we've now got it in Barnsley.

“The app gives you a sneak peek into all the places you'll visit at the hospital.

“Plus, there are videos explaining everything you need to know about surgery.

“Parents are covered too, there's a special section just for you with useful info, checklists, and even a relaxing breathing exercise.

“Feeling nervous before surgery is totally normal, but knowing what to expect can help ease those jitters.”