Marvellous Nurse Inventing Room and Innovation

A place where amazing new innovations are created and turned into reality by Marvellous healthcare professionals and families working together.

Roald Dahl Nurses in partnership with Burdett Trust for Nursing

We have a track record of innovation throughout our time working with seriously ill children and their families. We created the first clinical nurse specialist post for epilepsy in the UK, the world's first undiagnosed clinical nurse specialist, innovatively tackled sickle cell stigma and launched the Marvellous Nurse Inventing Room. Innovation was at the heart of Roald Dahl's life and it is at the heart of what we do.


The Marvellous Nurse Inventing Room - 2014-2017

Thanks to the support from our friends at the Burdett Trust for Nursing, Roald Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity was able to support innovative nurse-led research projects.

Our aim through the Marvellous Inventing Room Programme was to improve the quality of care for seriously ill children and young people. The programme also helped to improve skills in leadership, research and project management for children's nurses.

A summary of the external evaluation of the project can be read here.

A synopsis of the projects can be seen here.


Innovation example - The Super Hero Kits

Super Hero Suzie and Super Hero Steve kits were invented for children with juvenile arthritis by the Play Specialist, Tracey Lole, working in partnership with the Nurse Specialist Joanne Holder.

Children with juvenile arthritis are subject to very painful injections and with, the condition often hidden, they can struggle to understand why they need to go through this pain. This project created a unique superhero kit consisting of story book, a superhero cape and a male or female doll. The book helps them to better understand how their treatment works and of its benefits. The doll represents the character in the book – which can be used as a learning aid, a representation of the child to help them express their own feelings and concerns as well as a comfort aid. The cape can only be worn during injections, when the child becomes a superhero.

With five NHS Trusts on board, kits are currently being disseminated by Anne Sweeney who was the first ever Roald Dahl Specialist Nurse.

Project Outcomes: Children have a better understanding of their condition and thus have improved emotional and physical wellbeing; siblings and families also have deeper understanding and ability to explain to others this condition; and nurses leading the project have increased knowledge of how to reduce anxiety and improve outcomes for children. To find out more about the project and how you can get involved, see here.

Maisie and her Super Hero Kit

The image below shows Maisie, a 5-year old and her brothers reading her Super Hero Suzie book.

Maisie’s mum says ‘The toolkit has been brilliant for Maisie. It’s made her realise that she is not alone and that other children have the same condition and are going through the same pain. Her Superhero Suzie doll is her most prized possession and together with the storybook has helped her cope with the painful weekly injections which means she can be active again. She’s such a lively girl, she loves dancing and running about. Without her superhero medicine, she wouldn’t be able to do half of these things.’

Maisie and her brothers