Guest post

by Becci Addey, Paediatric Patient Experience Officer, Blackpool Victoria Hospital

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals has been involved in Leapfrog’s work since the beginning of their Rigorous Stories project; attending the initial workshops to learn more about the tools Leapfrog have created.

I have been the lead contact between Leapfrog and Blackpool Hospital in their collaborative work. My role is to consult with young people who use NHS health services in Blackpool and surrounding areas; engaging them in projects to improve services and the way in which care is delivered to children and young people.

One of the key challenges that I described in my role was ensuring that engagement outcomes are reported up to managers efficiently, and that actions following this are cascaded back to staff and patients.

Through a series of workshops, Leapfrog has met with managers in the Families Division at the Trust and the Trust’s youth forum, Victoria’s Voice. Each group have shared different perspectives on what information they would like to receive, and how they would like to receive it. Together with Leapfrog, Blackpool Hospital has designed several new tools that they feel will help engagement professionals to share information succinctly and to support teams to consider different stakeholders who are involved in engagement.

It was really interesting to hear different people’s perspectives. There were a lot of similarities in the challenges that the groups face, and I feel that we have worked together well to create tools that can be utilised on their own, or as part of a wider package. Whilst the tools we are currently working on are meeting the requirements of our team at Blackpool, I hope that other organisations can adapt the way in which they are used to meet their differing needs.”

It’s been a great experience working with Leapfrog! The team are very approachable and creative, and have been very open to new ideas and learning. Similarly, it has been a fantastic opportunity to work with colleagues in other organisations; sharing ideas and learning about work happening elsewhere.

Perhaps most of all, it has been so rewarding to reflect upon our own way of working to open communication channels between young patients and managers at the Trust. It’s very motivating to be reminded how much value is placed on successful engagement and the positive impact that involving young people in our work can have.

I’d like to thank Leapfrog for inviting us to take part in their project and for supporting us throughout.