A new Children and Young People’s Council has been set up at St George’s Hospital to enable young patients to support each other, and provide input into hospital decisions affecting children and young people

The Children and Young People’s Council met for the first time earlier this year, and is made up of 9 children aged between 10 and 16, all of whom have received, or continue to receive, care at the Trus

St George’s treats over 130,000 children and young people every year, and in 2019 was rated outstanding by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for the services it provides for children and young people.

However, the creation of the Children and Young People’s Council is way of improving further the services the Trust provides, whilst also providing an important and trusted forum within which children and young people can share their honest views about what is working well at the Trust, and what can be improved.

Issy Dolby, 11 (pictured) is a member of the Children and Young People’s Council. She is a patient at St George’s, having had a stroke in 2018. She said:

“The Children and Young People’s Council is a wonderful way for the younger generation to voice their opinions on how we can improve hospital services for other families, in a supported environment. I am honoured to be an active member of this Council and hope to make many new positive changes going forward. Watch this space!”

Josei Kobayashi (also pictured) is another member of the Children’s Council. He said:

“I am proud to be part of St George’s children and young people’s council. I joined the council because I would like to use my first hand experience, as a patient, to help improve the hospital and its patients’ experiences. This is important because the hospital needs to know what patients really think of the quality of their care and what can be done better. The role of the council is to suggest improvements, give feedback and think of new ideas for the better of the hospital.”

The new Children and Young People’s Council has met three times so far – virtually – and the plan is for the group to meet every month going forward.

Rachael Bolland, Nurse Consultant in Paediatrics, has worked at St George’s since 2001, and helped set up the new group. She said:

“This is a really exciting development for us. Children and young people have fantastic ideas about improvements we can make – and they are the ones who use our services, so listening to their views, and making changes as a result, is so important to us.”

“We are only meeting virtually at the moment, but the potential of the group is enormous – we want the council’s view on everything, from interview questions for new staff wanting to join us, to how we design our wards and patient services.”

If you are aged between 10 and 18 and are interested in joining the Children and Young People’s Council, please contact Rachael via email: rachael.bolland@stgeorges.nhs.uk