We are proud to introduce Youth Voice, our new, voluntary, youth forum aimed at ensuring children and young people have their voice heard within our hospitals!
We meet once a month to work on various projects and generate ideas to improve the experiences of children and young people in the hospitals.
If you or someone you know is aged 13-21 and looking to learn new skills, work as a team or help us improve the hospitals then please get in touch via: firstname.lastname@example.org or our twitter @LancsHospYV
Youth Forum Update
Last Thursday night, Youth Voice, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals’ youth forum visited our paediatric ward, ward 8, to complete a 15 Steps Challenge.
The 15 Steps Challenge was inspired by a quote from a mother who’s daughter had regular inpatient visits to hospital, she said: “I can tell what kind of care my daughter is going to get within 15 steps of walking on to every new ward”. The 15 Steps Challenge is a way to see how a ward feels through the eyes of a patient and judge it based on first impressions. The challenge is split into 4 areas to think about
- Is the service welcoming?
- Is it a safe place?
- Do you feel cared for and involved?
- Is it organised and calm?
We asked our dedicated group of young people to volunteer their spare to carry out the challenge. The Youth Voice members recorded what they saw and felt and below is a summary of their key thoughts.
What we thought was good:
- The ward was decorated well with colourful, informative, clear and child friendly posters and displays. We particularly liked the ceiling art, mosaic style artwork and wall length artworks immediately as you enter the ward and dotted around on the corridor. Each bay has a different coloured doorframe, which brightened up the ward too. There’s lots of information posters too about healthy eating, hygiene and surgery.
- We could see there was a commitment to making sure parents felt cared for too. There are beds and armchairs available for parents who’s children are admitted
- We loved the idea of hydration stations along the ward and kitchens for children and young people and their parents to use.
- Although we didn’t spend much time talking to staff because they were busy working they offered us help when we looked lost, welcomed us with smiles and were professional and polite. We felt reassured that there was plenty of staff members on the ward and that we could see them using the hand sinitisers provided. The ward felt calm and not too noisy.
- We felt very safe and secure on the ward with the security doors and staff questioning and checking the identity of people who wanted to leave or enter the ward
- We liked reading the starfish board and seeing feedback from children and young people displayed to other patients and staff!
What we’d like to see improve:
- The signpost image when you come into the ward is amazing but we really struggled to find the toilets. We think the signs on all the room/doors should be bigger and clearer.
- Some of the posters had medical terms on which not all children and young people understand, it might be nice to see a poster or display explaining commonly used medical words and hospital staff roles.
- There were private rooms for young people to relax or have private conversations but we’d like to see the rooms committed to an intended use. For example have a room only for quite relaxation, a room only for parents to relax etc.
- The high dependency unit stands out compared to the other children’s bays as it is white and very clinical. We felt like this might make a child even more aware that they’re ill and feel uneasy or upset. We’d like to see some colour in these rooms and possibly some toys specifically for the high dependency unit.
- While we felt facilities for children were outstanding with two spacious playrooms, the entertainment for slightly older children and teenagers needed improving.
- We’d like to see a bookcase with age appropriate books on it
- We’d like to see a chalkboard or whiteboard area on one of the walls for children and young people to doodle but can be cleaned off.
- We’d like to see bean bags in the quite/relaxation room.
- We’d like information posters on how to connect to the wifi.
- We felt that we didn’t know the names or roles of all the staff especially with so many different coloured uniforms and no clear name/job role badges. We’d like to see visible name badges with job roles on or a poster explaining what the different coloured uniforms mean in a child friendly way.
- The ward was quite hot when we visited, there is only air conditioning in the high dependency unit so we’d like to see more air conditioning or fans on the ward.
- We thought it would be a good idea to make all the children and young people on the ward have access to starfish feedback system at any time. Maybe by having starfish on a table and a small postbox to put feedback into.
Finally, we’d like to say a HUGE thank you to the staff on ward 8 for allowing us to come and visit. We had a very interesting and informative visit and it’s given us quite a few ideas on what we’d like to see improve. In the future we’re hoping to hold a fundraising event to help make the improvements we’d like to make a reality!
If you’d like to do your own 15 Steps Challenge then check out https://www.england.nhs.uk/participation/resources/15-steps-challenge/
Youth Forum Collage
On Thursday 11 October 2018 we held our very first Listening Event aimed specifically at children and young people.
The event was attended by 41 passionate young people, aged 13 - 21, who participated in five round-table discussions with the aim of shaping our future Youth Forum. The agenda touched upon the name of Forum; the logo; how often it should meet; and what it should do within our hospitals.
Ideas ranged from Youth Forum hoodies to imrpoving the transition from children's to adult services.
Follow the Youth Forum on Twitter: @LTHTRYouthForum
For more information, contact Jacob Ashton at email@example.com