Bedford Hospital 15 Steps
During 2019, Young Healthwatch took part in an Enter and View training session to prepare for visiting the children’s wards at Bedford Hospital and other local healthcare establishments that Young People access.
In September 2019, the young volunteers also took part in a training programme called ‘15 Steps’.
I can tell what kind of care my daughter is going to get within 15 steps of walking on to every new ward.
This powerful statement, from a mother whose daughter needed frequent inpatient stays, inspired the development of the ’15 Steps Challenge’.
The 15 Steps Challenge focuses on seeing care through a patient or carer’s eyes, and exploring their first impressions.
In October 2019 a group of Young Volunteers visited Bedford Hospital and put their training into practice.
This report has been written by Young Healthwatch volunteers in their own words and expresses their own opinions. It is based on their observations and those of the people they spoke to – patients and staff. The content has not been altered by Healthwatch Central Bedfordshire or Bedford Hospital, except for clarification.
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Response from Bedford Hospital
Bedford Hospital have been so pleased that Young Healthwatch approached them to be their first ’15 steps’ hospital. We hope that this is the first of many joint ventures.
Bedford Hospital has put together an action plan to help them address the recommendations and will let Young Healthwatch know when they have achieved them.
On 4th March 2020, Emily and Daisy, Young Healthwatch volunteers, attended Bedford Hospital to present their report to Trust Board members. It is an open event so members of the public are also eligible to attend. Both girls excelled in speaking about the report and particular areas that were important to them, and answered questions with confidence and clarity.
The Board members were extremely positive in their feedback about the work the volunteers had undertaken, and stated to Emily and Daisy that they would welcome them back to the hospital, in a professional capacity, following University to pursue their career paths.
Some of the Young Healthwatch volunteers’ recommendations have already been implemented, for example changing the ‘child-like sandwich lunch box’ to packaging more suitable for young adults. Also at the Trust Board meeting we were informed that the hospital will be switching to a new WiFi provider in May 2020, which will enhance and strengthen the signal within the Riverbank Ward and therefore allow the Young People to access films and social media.
The security aspect of the Riverbank Ward is also being looked at within the next few months, after Young Healthwatch highlighted concerns about the lack of security with visitors just being buzzed in, and gates not being shut. The hospital have taken this very seriously, even highlighting another issue with the height of the push to exit buttons.