Getting it right for children and young people in the emergency department at North Manchester General Hospital

getting it right
Getting it right for children and young people in the emergency department at North Manchester General Hospital
28 July 2014

Voices of children will be heard loud and clear over the summer period at North Manchester General Hospital in an effort to improve services and the experience of young people being treated in hospital.

The A&E department at the hospital is seeking to engage with children who use their department and capture their views on how they can modify or re-design the services that they offer, to become more responsive to patients’ needs.

Running initially during August, the department is looking to capture the views of around 2,500 children and families who come in to A&E by asking them to complete a short survey.

Dianne Cook, advanced paediatric nurse practitioner at North Manchester General Hospital, who is leading the survey and engagement work, said:

“Parent or carer views are commonly used as proxies in ascertaining information for surveys. However, as with the Friends and Families adult survey currently running in the emergency department, we wanted to give the opportunity to receive feedback and views of the children and young people who attend as well.

“Age should not be a barrier to ensuring that people have a positive experience of their care. We have devised with several children and young people's input, a postcard survey that is designed to be short and age appropriate, with the chance to provide comments seeking children’s views on our service and how we could improve things.”

The questions included in the survey are: Did you feel that the nurses and doctors looked after you today? Did you like the place and space you were seen in today? Did the staff make you feel better today?

The paediatric nursing staff in A&E will distribute a postcard to any child or young person (where appropriate) who attends the department with an acute or chronic illness or injury. The children can fill the survey in and post their replies in a confidential box in the department.

Local children also got the chance to become even more involved with the survey when Pike Fold Community Primary School in Blackley was invited to design a colour picture to be used on the postcard.

All 240 pupils from the school completed their pictures with winners chosen from each class, and a final overall winner chosen by a judging panel comprising Trust chairman John Jesky, Maureen Denton, head teacher of Pike Fold Community Primary School and members of the emergency department. Chris Hazelhurst, Asda Community Liaison, presented donated vouchers to the winners.

Molly, from Year 6 was chosen as the lucky winner with her picture of ‘what health means to me’ now about to be officially unveiled as the graphic for the postcard survey.

Professor Andrew Rowland, paediatric emergency medicine consultant, said: “This is a very exciting initiative for us as we eagerly look forward to hearing the children's and young people's contributions. We want to give them a greater voice in the design of healthcare services and engage with our local community to strengthen links and communication with our local partners.”

Pictured left to right: Dianne Cook, advanced paediatric nurse practitioner; Professor Andrew Rowland, paediatric emergency medicine consultant; Molly from Pike Fold Community Primary School and Chris Hazelhurst, Asda Community Liaison.