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School kids ‘takeover’ to name new children’s unit

Friday, 11 July, 2014
School kids ‘takeover’ to name new children’s unit

Around 40 students from schools across Northumberland and North Tyneside are set to take over planning the new Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital for a day, as they choose a name for the new paediatric unit which will open in 2015.

As part of Children’s Commissioner’s Takeover Day 2012, which gives young people the chance to get involved in decision making, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has invited local youngsters to work with emergency care consultants, architects and senior healthcare managers to help decide what the new short-stay paediatric facility in Cramlington should be called.

The youngsters, all aged between 16 and 18 from eight schools and groups, will also be invited to give their views about various aspects of the revolutionary new hospital – the first of its kind in the country, where specialist consultants will be working around the clock to treat the most seriously ill and injured patients.

The event, being held at the Trust’s offices in Cobalt Business Park, North Shields, is all part of a national event, led by the Children’s Commissioner for England, which gives children and young people the chance to shadow jobs and offer their opinions on key issues. 

The north east youngsters will take part in a ‘speed-dating’ session acting as team managers and communications officers, gathering information from the Trust’s clinical and management teams, feeding in their ideas and comments on the development of the new hospital.   

By the end of the takeover day, they will have drawn up a shortlist of names for the new paediatric unit that will go forward to a panel chaired by Brian Flood, chairman of Northumbria Healthcare and the Trust’s children’s champion.  

The young people will also produce their own communications plan for the two-year build of the hospital, including input into events such as burying a time capsule and laying a foundation stone, leading up to the opening of the new hospital in 2015.  

The state-of-the-art hospital is part of the Trust’s £200million investment to improve healthcare in Northumberland and North Tyneside.  It will have an A&E department, admission and inpatient wards, hi-tech diagnostics and critical care, as well as a short-stay paediatric facility and a maternity unit.

Birju Rana, project director of the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital, said: “Our specialist emergency care hospital is a very exciting project which will improve healthcare for communities across Northumberland and North Tyneside for many years to come.

“We felt it was very fitting to take part in such a unique initiative such as Takeover Day to involve local young people – who along with their families will benefit from the new hospital throughout their lives – and give them the opportunity to feed into our plans and come up with a name for our paediatric department. 

“The final name will be a lasting legacy for all the young people involved and we look forward to hearing their views and progressing all of the entries to the judging panel in the coming months.”

Maggie Atkinson, Children’s Commissioner for England, said: “Our Takeover Day provides a brilliant opportunity for children and young people to make a difference to their schools and communities, put their views across and challenge the stereotypes about them that we hear too often. Children and young people have so much to offer. They bring ideas, imagination and energy which can really make a difference to organisations.”