Learning on both sides as the kids takeover hospital

Children from across the Fylde Coast were given the chance to take over the running of hospital services as part of the national Takeover Day campaign last week.

For the third year, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust allowed children and young people access to key decisions makers around the Trust as part of the national campaign. The aim is to allow them to influence the decision making process in order to champion the needs of children and young people. Thousands of organisations take part in the challenge each year.

This year the main event of the engagement project saw young people granted access to the managers of adult wards to support the trusts work on young people’s transition.

Fiona Jones, who organises Takeover Day at the Trust said: “Currently, across the country generally, if you are over 16 and admitted to hospital for the first time you will be cared for on an adult unit. These can be quite busy and daunting places to be especially if you are quite young and is a big contrasting environment to a children’s ward. We wanted to see if there was anything we could do to prepare the adult wards for younger people.

“We got some brilliant feedback. The Ward Managers all said how much they had learned from the thoughts of the young people as they went around the hospital. The young people themselves said what a great experience it was for them.”

A group photo of young people with staff

The young people who took over the Trust with some of the Managers.

Diane Stewart, Head of Children’s Targeted Services said: “Take Over Day was an opportunity for Ward Managers and staff on the adult wards to see a hospital admission through the eyes of a young person and how they must feel coming into hospital. The young people and  ward managers returned at the end of the day with some really simple and realistic ideas of how we can improve the experience for young people on adult wards in the hospital, many of these can be easily implemented.

“Take over day gives us valuable insight in to what young people need whilst in hospital. It is important for us adults to remember that the young people we care for have different perceptions and needs which we must take in to consideration so that we can improve the quality of care we provide.”

The children also learnt something about the way the top decision makers go about their business. They said the experience was fun, educational and informative.

Fiona added: “It was a very successful day; the young people get a lot out of takeover as they are given the opportunity to really influence changes and see the hospital from a different perspective which can help them if they want to go into medicine or giving them a bit more confidence if they ever need to use our services.”

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