Working with young people to improve children’s services at Basingstoke hospital

MEMBERS of the Basingstoke Hospital Youth Forum have identified hospital food and noise at night-time as two of their priorities as they work with staff at the hospital to improve children’s health services.

Wednesday 29 November 2017

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Basingstoke Hospital Youth Forum

Members of the Basingstoke Hospital Youth Forum with staff from Hampshire Hospitals, including chief nurse, Donna Green, and Judith Bennett, child health clinical matron.

 

The youth forum, which gives young people aged between 11 and 16 who have been treated at the hospital the chance to shape the way children’s services are run, was set up earlier this year. They have already met twice and are working with staff on ways to improve things for young people at the hospital.

Judith Bennett, child health clinical matron at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital, Royal Hampshire County Hospital, in Winchester, and Andover War Memorial Hospital, said: “The meetings we have had so far have been really productive. The whole team is excited about the youth forum and looking forward to working with the members of it to improve our services.”

Members have reported that the menu is not always child friendly and that the portion sizes can be a problem, with teenagers finding that meals do not always fill them up. They are working closely with the hospital’s catering team to address this and will get the chance to sample a range of the options available during their next meeting.

In addition, after hearing that young people sometimes found it hard to sleep at night on the children’s ward, the hospital has signed up to the Sleep for Health in Hospital (SHH) programme and is looking at ways of reducing brightness and the noise caused by doors, ward phones and alarms.

Members of the youth forum are also taking part in walkarounds of the departments to assess things like tidiness and the friendliness of staff, and they are even sitting in on interviews for new members of the team, taking part in the decision-making process.

Donna Green, chief nurse at Hampshire Hospitals, attended the most recent meeting of the forum.

She said: “I very much enjoyed the meeting I attended with the young people and really appreciate that they are giving up their time to help us to improve our services for children. They have already come up with some fantastic ideas and I’m looking forward to hearing what else they think we could do differently.

“If you have been treated at Basingstoke hospital and have ideas about things you think we could do in a different way, please apply to join the Basingstoke Hospital Youth Forum. We really want to hear your views.”

Visit www.hampshirehospitals.nhs.uk/bhyf for more information and to apply to be a member of the forum.

 

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