Hospital is taken over by inspired youngsters

'Takeover' at Blackpool's Victoria Hospital and (below) Patient Experience Officer Fiona Jones.
'Takeover' at Blackpool's Victoria Hospital and (below) Patient Experience Officer Fiona Jones.
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These young looking officials are taking on top jobs at Blackpool Victoria Hospital in a bid to learn more about health and help out with decision making.

The schoolchildren shadowed staff from the hospital on Friday, seeing a life in the day of the likes of the head of midwifery and even the chief executive.

Patient Experience Officer Fiona Jones.

Patient Experience Officer Fiona Jones.

The day was organised as part of Children’s Commissioner’s Takeover Day 2013, a national event giving children the chance to get involved with decision making and offer opinions on key issues.

Each child is a member of Victoria’s Voice, the hospital youth forum, and draw on their own experiences as patients with Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to contribute.

Ella Tredinnick, 16, from Marton, has type one diabetes. She said: “We give children at the Vic a voice within the hospital.

“On Friday we introduced the code of conduct, a list of what we expect from nurses and doctors, like compassion, respect and it’s a huge thing for them to speak to us and not parents.

“We want to make it so it’s a fun stay for children even if there’s something scary going on.

“It overwhelms me knowing I can improve a stay for others.”

Jade Henson, from North Shore, who was admitted to hospital this summer with an infection caused by a henna tattoo, shadowed Paul Jebb, assistant director of nursing.

The 14-year-old’s father, Peter, 62, tragically died at the hospital last year, so she knows the different ways the hospital can support youngsters.

She said: “I want to get it out there that children can help other children.”

Paul said: “I showed Jade how we look at patient experience and how we use feedback, positive or negative, to look at changes we need to make to enhance care.

“It’s important young people understand what happens in hospitals, not just the ‘sexy’ front line stuff but behind the scenes.”

Janette Hopkins, associate director of nursing for families division, showed 15-year-old Nicola Jones, from South Shore, around the children’s ward.

She said: “We talked about what goes on in the community as well as the hospital, and school nursing.

“It was good seeing our role and our work through their eyes.”

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