Pupils benefit from innovative NHS Youth Leaders Programme

Staff from Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NSH Foundation Trust and students who took part in the Youth Health Leaders event at Blackpool Victoria Hospital

YOUNGSTERS from across the Fylde coast have been given a unique insight into life as an NHS professional.

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust held its latest Youth Health Leaders event at Blackpool Victoria Hospital with pupils from three local schools meeting a host of local healthcare experts.

Topics for discussion included smoking cessation, alcohol awareness and mental health alongside interactive presentations from a wide range of staff at the hospital and the Red Cross.

The event was organised by Practice Development Sister, Sharon Vickers, who oversees the Trust’s successful Youth Health Leaders programme.

She said: “The feedback from the teachers was that the pupils had a wonderful day and returned to their schools with a head full of ideas of how to promote healthier lifestyles.

“I think this shows that engaging with youngsters is a valuable exercise in terms of health promotion and in terms of giving the young people valuable skills and we would like to encourage more schools to get involved with the programme and work closer with their NHS.

“The event was a success thanks to the hard work and preparation the LINK staff put into their display boards and their re-enacting of real patient scenarios.

“It takes a lot of hard work from people who work at the Trust to support this project and give the pupils the benefit of their experience and I am really grateful to them for their support.

Sandra thanked a long list of people including:

Research Nurses: Emma Stoddard and Gemma Brown (Legal Highs and Drug abuse scenario).  Assisting  actor: John Kristian Vickers

Critical Care Outreach Team: Leigh Crawford and Maria assisted by Sister  Katy Vickers (AMU) and Dr Matthew Nelson (AMU) who covered the deteriorating patient scenario from drugs.

HIV Screening: Shane Faulkner.

Mock Interview scenario: Helen Knowles, Gemma Smith and Rachel Bailey.

‘Where to go when ill` presentation: Helen Hotchkiss,  Matron from AKS.

Louise Brunskill, Health and Social Care Teacher at Hodgson Academy, said her pupils enjoyed the day.

She said: “This was a really useful day because the students have to do a lot of coursework and look at scenarios similar to what we have seen as part of this programme.

“Part of their course is also looking at setting up some sort of health and wellbeing awareness within school about issues that affect young people today so it fits in perfectly.

“It is also vital for the youngsters to know that the lifestyle choices they make at this age will have a big impact on their future.’’

Posted in Compassion, Home Page, People Centred, Press Releases.