Kettering General Hospital and Young Healthwatch Northamptonshire have won a national award for work they have undertaken with young people.
The two organisations entered the Patient Experience Network National Awards (PENNA) in the ‘Team of the Year’ category.
The joint entry was called ‘It’s my health – youth voice’ and their win was announced on Wednesday 20 March 2019 at the awards ceremony in Birmingham.
Young Healthwatch is part of Healthwatch Northamptonshire – the body which represents the interests of local people in health and social care. It is a group of 11 to 24 years old who are keen to make a difference in health and social care and are interested in young people’s rights and wellbeing.
The entry described the way that members of Young Healthwatch were encouraged to carry out a visit to children’s services at KGH in April 2018 from which they documented their findings and produced a report – which was then acted on by the hospital.
The report recommended improvements – which the hospital has made – to children’s services including:
- Improving signs to direct people to children’s services – for example, colourful footprints on the floor signposting the paediatric area in A&E
- Adding more colour to paediatric areas to make them more child-friendly
- Having more books and games available for children in waiting areas in children’s A&E and outpatients
- Using brightly coloured fun staff name badges so children can better understand who they are talking to
Young Healthwatch Project Manager Esther Stimpson said: “We think it was a great example of team working between Young Healthwatch, Healthwatch Northamptonshire and Kettering General Hospital that enabled young people to make a real difference to the environment provided for young people at the hospital.”
Chair of Young Healthwatch Northamptonshire, Tanzi, said: “It has been amazing to work with Kettering General Hospital, every time we visit we see more of the recommendations we have made become reality. It is fantastic that the views of young people are taken on board and acted upon.”
Kettering General Hospital’s Head of Patient Experience and Involvement James Allan said: “The perspective that Young Healthwatch brought was refreshing. We learned a lot from their visit and will be using the new perspective they gave us – looking at things through the eyes of a young person – in other pieces of work in the future.”
“We plan to continue to work with Young Healthwatch and visit local schools to capture more of the experience of children when they visit hospital – either to be treated or with relatives.”