A father's story

Listen to this Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) podcast to hear from Darren, a parent Foundation Trust member.

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“My name is Darren Carter, I’m a Foundation Trust member, and my current role is a parent representative at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

I became a Foundation Trust member in September 2007, the reason for that was my daughter at the time underwent major open-heart surgery. She was at a very critical time, but they actually saved her life. By helping out and becoming a Foundation Trust member, it doesn’t just help the hospital now, but it can help them to improve the medical care in the future.

Parent’s feedback is appreciated anytime. Become a foundation trust member, and your feedback is just as important – it could even become involved in any major project.

I’m seeing Olivia today because I’m currently involved in a medical record’s project, which we are doing for the next six months. We are trying to improve medical records, and at the moment try to work out how they can become accessible to parents as well, when they are staying with their child.

Patient records are very important because we [parents] always have questions and want answers. So if we have a question there and then about our child, we want the answer there and then. Medical records – as much as technology is today – you need it at hand. Unfortunately you cannot have a computer at the bed, and you’re not in control of your child while they’re in hospital, somebody else is.

You still want that feeling of ‘in control’ and you need to know what is happening to your child.

The filing system here at the moment is good, but obviously it could do with improvement – but that’s like everywhere – so it’s not a major thing to worry about at all. As part of the project we have introduced 10 golden rules that will help to get the records filed correctly.

This could be anything from date and time, to actually how things are written. Another golden rule is to make sure that the details are signed correctly and that legible, which is the most important one really, can the person who’s taken over the shift read the handwriting of the previous consultant?

The best thing about being a Foundation Trust member is that you’re actually helping the hospital to become a foundation trust status. Not only that, you can get yourself involved in a very big organisation.
The thing that I’d like to achieve with the hospital is that when you come through the doors, as a parent, if you could just make it that little bit easier. It’s a very emotional, stressful time. I’d like to make it a little bit easier.

I’ll be a Foundation Trust member until they want to kick me out, to be honest! I’ve been indebted for the rest of my life, they’ve give me my daughter’s life, and you can’t put a price or any time on that.”