A public member's story

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

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“My name’s Ian Lush, I’m a public member here at Great Ormond Street Foundation Trust, I’m also on a number of boards and steering groups.

One of the good things about being a Foundation Trust member is that as well as being involved in decisions about Great Ormond Street at a quite strategic level, people have an enthusiasm for a particular area of the hospital’s work. In my case it’s the re-development and the food and retail side, but you can want to get involved in a particular clinical area.

Most members of the Foundations Trust will have some form of active involvement in something in the hospital that means something to them.

I decided to become a foundation trust member because I’m very committed to the work at Great Ormond Street, I think that it’s an extraordinary institution which does world-wide important work. I saw that perhaps I could offer a little bit of my expertise from outside, also enthusiasm and knowledge, and I just generally wanted to help.

I’ve found working here at the hospital very interesting because it’s very different from my day job, but also it’s tremendously rewarding because people really value our contribution as Foundation Trust members.

Surprisingly, even though I bring absolutely no medical expertise, the fact that I bring perhaps experience from business and other fields is very much welcomed. I think sometimes the staff here feel that they work in a bit of a bubble and having people bring in thoughts from outside is very helpful.

The key thing about being a Foundation Trust member is being committed to the work of the hospital, bringing some enthusiasm, some experience but not specific. I think that anybody who wants to get involved – if they bring that enthusiasm along with them – will be a value.

Food and nutrition is terribly important at a hospital, any hospital. Of course at a children’s hospital one of the things we’re acutely aware of is trying to encourage families to eat healthily, to provide healthy food for their families once they leave the hospital, as well as what we’re able to serve both on the wards and in the public areas here. There’s little point in making people well, for them to then eat badly when they get back home.

The best thing about being a member and being involved with the work at the hospital is the feeling that you’re bringing something extra to the life of the hospital. In a small way, perhaps what we’re doing is helping to make the hospital more effective in terms of dealing with the public, dealing with patients. Even in the sense, perhaps, to do with its management.

Don’t get me wrong the hospital is extremely well run by a group of dedicated and highly skilled professionals, but occasionally you feel that your external prospective can give a different viewpoint and perhaps make people thing slightly differently about things.”