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Young minds bring fresh ideas to hospital

Young minds bring fresh ideas to hospital

Date of release: 23 March 2023

“Bright and enthusiastic” young pupils at a city school are helping to shape patient information in Paediatric Services at New Cross Hospital.

The Year 3 and 4 students at St Anthony’s Catholic Primary Academy in Fordhouses have been working with the Patient Experience Team at The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (RWT) on the co-production project.

Latest News: Pupils at St Anthony’s Catholic Primary Academy working on the project
Pupils at St Anthony's Catholic Primary Academy working on the project

Alison Dowling, Head of Patient Experience and Public Involvement, explained that the project was motivated by the Trust’s aim to ensure services reflect the needs of children from across Wolverhampton’s communities. 

She said: “We work with adult patients on a range of initiatives but are keen to hear young people’s voices. Our new joint Strategy with Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust focuses on the four strategic aims of Care, Collaboration, Colleagues and Communities and this project really embraces these.

“I contacted the school to request a session with Year 3 and 4 pupils with the intention of making sure that children feel safe and secure in RWT’s care. We wanted to ensure that the ward welcome information boards give them the answers to the questions that they need to ask to make them feel secure.

“We developed a child-friendly presentation to explain why asking questions is important while in care, and the pupils were really pleased to be involved in the project. They were bright and enthusiastic and gave us a range of questions to incorporate, some of which the team hadn’t thought about before.  They also gave us some brilliant drawings to illustrate the ward welcome boards.  The Patient Experience Team is now working on revised poster designs.”

Latest News: Carl Marshall at St Anthony’s Catholic Primary Academy
Carl Marshall at St Anthony's Catholic Primary Academy

Alison said that whilst the initial project was to create the Ward Welcome Boards which are on display inside ward areas, the team plans to work with pupils on future projects and make the most of their innovative ideas.

The team will also be meeting with ‘Hy5’ a group of young people who  engage with the City of Wolverhampton Council to ensure RWT services also reflect their needs.

Carl Marshall, Project Support Officer added: “The NHS must engage actively with people of all ages to ensure that our services accurately reflect their care needs – rather than delivering a pre-packaged service as a done deal.

“It has been a delight to work with and learn from this very insightful pupil group. We really value their contribution in improving our services.”

Mrs Tamsin Davis, Principal of St Anthony’s, said the children had got a lot out of the project.

“They had plenty of ideas to contribute; ideas that the team was willing to listen to and consider which means a lot to the pupils involved. Their opinions were valued and the fact that they want to work together again in the future is a testament to how successful this collaboration has been,” she said.

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