Four members of the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust Members' Council talk about their roles, what the Members' Council has achieved and the importance of the upcoming election.You can view the video here, or alternatively watch it on YouTube. 1. What constituency do you represent?
Lisa: “My name is Lisa Chin-a-Young and I represent parents and carers inside London.”
Ian: “I am Ian Lush and I am a member of the Foundation Trust Members’ Council for the north London public constituency.”
Olivia: “My name is Olivia Frame and I am the appointed councillor. I represent the Expert Patient Programme.”
Jim: “I’m Jim and I represent the staff here at Great Ormond Street Hospital.”
2. The hospital gained Foundation Trust status in March 2012. What does this mean?
Lisa: “I think gaining Foundation Trust status is such an exciting phase for the hospital because it means that stakeholders and users have a voice in how the hospital is run and the direction of the hospital. I think it is a very positive step forward and I think that it’s been a real privilege to be part of this early phase of the Foundation Trust status of Great Ormond Street. What it also does is gives the hospital a little more flexibility in how they want to run their affairs and particularly where to invest any surplus of funds which I think again puts the ownership and the ability to own the direction of the hospital back in the hands of the hospital.”
Ian: “Being a Foundation Trust also means that you elect a Members’ Council of which I am part and that is really important because it means that the public and patients, ex patients and carers of patients get to have a bit of a say in the hospital’s future by electing a council to represent them.”
3. Can anyone become a member of Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust?
Lisa: “Yes, anybody can become a member who lives in England and Wales and is over the age of 10. And we do welcome all membership from our diverse community here at Great Ormond Street Hospital.”
4. What are the benefits of being a Foundation Trust member?
Lisa: “So it can be anything from receiving newsletters that come out to emails as to what are the opportunities to volunteer in the hospital, or online surveys, to actually running for being a councillor. So it is really up to you to shape what you want your membership at Great Ormond Street to be but it gives you a chance to be involved in the hospital in as small or as large a way that you want to be.”
Ian: “You get to be part of a constituency of people who believe in and support the hospital. You get to elect councillors. You also get to have a say in a number of issues about the hospital’s future so we’ve just polled all the members on things like opening hours, whether we should be doing out of hours activities. And also a little known benefit you also get to be part of an NHS discount scheme.”
5. Why did you stand for election?
Olivia: “My overall aim is to put the child first and always as Great Ormond Street always does. I was a patient at Great Ormond Street about 11 years ago and ever since I have been a really active member. I want to help make a difference for children and teenagers with a long term illness.”
Lisa: “I stood for election which was now two years ago because I wanted to be part of the journey of Great Ormond Street, I felt that Great Ormond Street Hospital had given us a lot in the treatment of our son and I wanted to be able to give back a little bit to the hospital and so it really was being part of the journey of the hospital and helping this to be an even better place.”
6. What do you feel you have achieved as a Members’ Council?
Jim: “I feel the Members’ Council has really created a foundation on which they can build, being involved in thing like having reps who took part in the chief exec interviews, not the formal ones but informal questioning, and simply getting more and more opportunity to be a part of the hospital so that foundation has been laid and hopefully people will be able to build upon that.”
Lisa: “And also giving new thoughts and end user perspective, being a voice of the patient, of the carer, of the end users and helping the hospital to see that sometimes it’s easy to be become internally focused but I think we as the members’ council provide that external voice and give the voice of other stakeholders and bring that to the organisation and the running of the hospital.”
Olivia: “As a members’ council we have been involved in annual planning, attending openings of new buildings and I have been very busy recruiting new young members at school.”
7. Can you give us some reasons to join?
Lisa: “Please join Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust because membership really does make a difference.”
Ian: “We want people from as broad a geographical and diverse constituencies as possible so we can say ‘Look, our membership is representative of the very wide range of people treated here.’”
Olivia: “I really urge people to get involved and vote in the elections.”
Jim: “You’ll be able to use your vote and participate in the elections but let’s face it, as we put things off why don’t you join now, go to the GOSH website for more information.”