Past Patients and Siblings Host 'Big Discussion' | Latest News

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Past Patients and Siblings Host 'Big Discussion'

Young people, including past patients and their siblings, took centre stage in a transformative Big Discussion event for healthcare professionals, advocating for youth voice within our Trust. 

Organised and run by our Young Person's Advisory Group (YPAG) and our Mental Health youth board, Think4Brum, it aimed to share the experiences of young people at our Children’s Hospital to help make our services better. 

Attendees bravely told their stories in keynote speeches and panels to share their feedback. 

Fathih Hassan, 21, Chair of YPAG and past patient at our Children’s Hospital, spoke about the importance of the conversations. He said: "Most of us have grown up with lived experiences. We've listened to healthcare professionals for years and we've learnt a lot from them. Now, this is an opportunity for clinicians to learn from us and our experiences." 

As part of the day, young people led role reversal training, where they assumed the role of clinicians during mock consultations. Clinicians gained firsthand insight into the patient experience so they could examine their language use and its potential impact. 

Beth Dennis, 20, YPAG member, whose brother was a former patient, said: "It was my favourite part of the day and the audience really enjoyed seeing their day-to-day jobs through a young person's eyes. It really showed the impact of their language on a young person sitting in a consultation." 

The event also featured a panel discussion where staff engaged with young people, seeking their valuable insights. 

Nahida Rahman, 20, Think4Brum Chair, said: "We've been through some challenges and barriers and we don't want any other young person to have to go through those same.  

"The Big Discussion gave us the space to share our ideas to clinicians from across BWC, so they can go away and drive that change, and we've seen it happen." 

Following previous events, the youth groups started a project to improve bed signage in the hospital, so that every child could write their preferred name above their bed.  

Nahida added: "At the recent event, senior leaders from other sites showed a great interest in the bed signage project and set out to implement it in their wards. It was fantastic to see coproduction in action." 

Beth added: "Youth voice is something we are all so passionate about. We want to bridge the gap between young people and senior leadership. We want young people's voices heard in decision-making, and we can't wait to bring the Big Discussion to more healthcare professionals." 

Charlotte Weir, 24, a member of Think4Brum, said: "We want to be the voice for people who aren't feeling heard. We are championing youth voice and we're got so much in the works. Watch this space." 

Interested in joining YPAG or Think4Brum? If you are a young person interested in helping shape healthcare service, and looking to learn new skills, get in touch via bwc.ypag@nhs.net or think4.brum@nhs.net. 

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