Sheffield Children’s Hospital Youth Forum that is helping to improve clinician to patient care with their experiences

"It's a chance to do something and feel worthy," said George Marriott, one of a team of young people who are helping improve patient care at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

Wednesday, 11th September 2019, 3:16 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th September 2019, 5:14 pm
Youth Forum of Sheffield Children's Hospital, co-chairs George Marriott, aged 20 and Freya McKervey aged 18.

The Youth Forum is a group at the children’s hospital for patients and siblings of patients that are going through or have been through hospital care.

They work to help improve clinician to patient care in the hospital.

The group work with the hospital and staff to develop what the hospital can do for the patients by taking in the suggestions of the current and past patients experience.

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Freya McKervey and another member of the Youth Forum at a research trip

Five years ago Freya encountered a netball injury as she was a keen netball player but this injury lead to a condition being found called complex regional pain syndrome.

CRPS is a poorly understood condition and is still on-going.

As the co-chair with George Freya said it’s difficult for clinicians or staff members to know what could be improved for the patient if no one is telling them.

“The little things really make a big difference and some of the stuff we’ve already done to improve the hospital is really rewarding.” Freya said.

Members of the Youth Forum, group picture

George has known the hospital very well since the age of nine when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

He said that the Youth Forum is a great opportunity for young people in the hospital to get involved in something that gives back to the hospital that treats them.

“Once I received such fantastic care, it’s always been my aim to give something back to the hospital. The forum is also a great opportunity for patients to be involved in things that they think they’d never have.

“It’s an opportunity to be involved in something you’d never usually be involved with like having your say in the hospital’s services. For lots of patients it’s a chance to do something and feel worthy.” He said.

George Marriott with the Duke of Sussex.

George went on to add that the biggest thing for him about the forum is the satisfaction he feels to be able to improve on the hospital.

Freya added onto this saying that before she came to the forum, there was no one else in her year, that had health problems that took them in and out of hospital but that the forum gave them someone to relate to.

“Like George said, being able to do things that you never thought possible - like I’ve been on interview panels for director level posts and recently we have been doing things for siblings of patients to try to better understand and support how they’re feeling.”

Although George and Freya have faced difficulties in their lives and have ongoing conditions they continue to do the work they do in the forum and in their lives.

George is currently studying a maths degree through the open university as he volunteers at a school. Freya is planning to go on to study a law or psychology degree in university.