Little Voices’ “inspectors” spent a busy day reviewing paediatric services for Walsall children and young people – impressing healthcare staff with their observations and ideas.
They formed the new Little Voices initiative developed by the Patient Relations & Experience Team at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust which has partnered with Pelsall Village School. Six inspectors, complete with clipboards, visited Ward 21, and the relocated Paediatric Assessment Unit and Paediatric Emergency Department in Walsall Manor Hospital’s brand-new Urgent and Emergency Care Centre yesterday.
They have worked on “Little Steps” which is a children and young people’s version of the 15 Steps Challenge – a suite of toolkits that explores different healthcare settings through the eyes of patients and relatives. This approach supports staff to listen to patients and carers and understand the improvements that can be made. It helps to explore patient experience and is a way of involving patients, carers and families in quality assurance processes.
Garry Perry, Associate Director – Patient Relations & Experience at Walsall Healthcare, said: “The six inspectors were absolute stars and really made us all stop and reflect on how children and young people feel when they visit our hospital as well as what is important to them.
“They experienced a play session, rated the food, and observed hand hygiene and were full of enthusiasm and ideas as well as feeding back some constructive comments that we can work with to shape our services. We are so proud to have introduced such an innovative project, co-created with our school partner, and look forward to our inspectors sharing their thoughts with senior leaders soon.”
Melody, aged 10, said: “I was really excited to come and do this visit. I want to help make the children more happy when they visit hospital”
Eight-year-old Tommy said: “The staff helped us understand what all the equipment did and what was going on when we were in PAU. It was fun.”
And Alfie, 10, said: “The new PAU was really nice and I really liked how they decorated the walls. The children that come to hospital will like it.”
Amy Boden, Head of Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) at Walsall Healthcare, also praised the young inspectors’ involvement.
“Our Little Voices Inspectors were brilliant advocates for IPC and made observations I never would have. Their perspective has been so valuable to support us in continuing to improve patient experience.”
Little Voices have already helped to design a hand cleaning observation sheet for use by patients when in hospital and ‘All about me’ boards.