Young Healthwatch Northamptonshire volunteers took part in activities to find out more about Northampton General Hospital and Kettering General Hospital and to give young people a taste of future careers in the NHS.
Takeover day allows children and young people to gain an insight into the adult world and organisations open their doors to benefit from a fresh perspective on their work. Learn more about Takeover day.
Volunteers from Young Healthwatch Northamptonshire were invited to both Northampton General Hospital and Kettering General Hospital for an action-packed day meeting staff, hearing about children and young people’s feedback as patients and trying out some fun features at the hospital which allows for a better stay for young people.
After a meet and greet with Head of Patient Experience and Engagement at NGH and attending a board meeting with the CEO and board members at KGH, the young volunteers talked about feedback that the hospital receive from patients about how patient experience can be improved, especially for young people.
At Northampton General Hospital, the Young Healthwatch team had the opportunity to hop aboard the Children’s train, driven by its amazing volunteers. The train allows for young patients to have fun while being transported around the hospital for treatments and procedures. Meanwhile, at KGH, Young Healthwatch members met the communications team for the hospital and had an insight into how they keep the public updated with new and exciting developments within the hospital.
In both hospitals, they had the chance to try out a range of food, from sandwiches to Sunday dinner that is served to young patients to provide feedback.
Nearing the end of the day, Young Healthwatch dressed up and were shown NGH’s state of the art simulation suite, which allows simulated learning scenarios to provide invaluable opportunities to observe, develop and test how healthcare professionals work together and interact with their environment and equipment.
Kettering General Hospital showed the young volunteers the radiology department, where they learnt about how radiology works and is used to treat patients. They were also shown fascinating images made by the MRI scanner.
Kia, a Young Healthwatch Northamptonshire Volunteer who visited Northampton General Hospital, said: “The environment is very friendly, all the staff are lovely and they make you feel really welcome”.
Another Young Healthwatch Northamptonshire Volunteer, Anya, said: “We did a food tasting session of the food they give out on the children’s ward and we tried it all and gave our input on it and Sara (Sara Francis, Patient Experience Coordinator at Northampton General Hospital) came down and said our input is very useful.”
Rachel Lovesy, Head of Patient Experience and Engagement at Northampton General Hospital, said: “Having Young Healthwatch with us for the day was incredibly exciting and inspiring. Seeing their enthusiasm for how the hospital works and receiving their feedback on potential ways in which we can improve was fantastic. As an organisation we are keen to work collaboratively with our patients, families, young people and carers to ensure we make changes of direct benefit to patients.
“Young Healthwatch spent time with our catering team tasting the old and proposed new menu offered within the Children’s wards. Their views were extremely valuable and the new menu is being developed as a direct result of this session. In addition to this, we are going to continue to work with the young people to look at the ways in which we collect feedback from children and young people on a daily basis. We hope the young people enjoyed the day as much as we did and are perhaps considering becoming part of #TeamNGH in the future!”
James Gillespie-Allan, Head of Patient Experience and Involvement at Kettering General Hospital, said: “The perspective, energy and enthusiasm that Young Healthwatch continue to bring to KGH always amazes me. Every time we meet I learn something new and they always have fresh ideas on how we can improve.
“Looking at things through the eyes of young people brings a whole new perspective and it’s a real honor and privilege to get to work with them again this year on Takeover day. I’m looking forward to the other work we have planned to collaborate on our improvement journey.”