Young people turn ambulances inside out

Young inspectors take a closer look at the Trust

Young people were invited to take a closer look at NEAS recently to find out how the service works for them.

They were given an insight into how to stop a person choking, what’s inside an ambulance, what happens when you ring 999 and why NHS111 might be a good place to start if you don’t know which health service you need.

Hartlepool’s Junior Inspectors are a group of youngsters aged between eight and 11 from Thornton Primary School. Together they inspect services accessible to young people, such as leisure centres and hospitals.

Following their last inspection in March where they visited the Operations Centre as well as the Trust’s Hazardous Area Response Team, the youngsters visited the training school in Gateshead to continue with their inspection of the service and suggest areas of improvement.

Here, they were introduced to clinical care manager and paramedic Richard Ilderton who taught them the difference between 999 and NHS111 and the impact hoax calls have on the service before giving them a tour of the live call centre, where call operators were taking some of the region’s 999 and 111 calls.

Billy Littlewood aged 11 was one of the inspectors involved in the trip.

He said: “I’ve learned a lot today about when to call 999 or if you need to call 111 instead. It’s been fun to go onto an ambulance and see what it looks like on the inside and where everything is kept to help people when they are on the way to hospital.”

Richard Ilderton said: “It’s been great to see how engaged the children have been and they have all asked some really intelligent questions which has led to great conversations about which situation to call 999 or 111, what to do if they come across someone who needs medical help and the impact hoax calls have on our service.

“We welcome views from patients and members of the public about how our service works because it gives us an opportunity to help them understand how we work, the issues we face and how they can support us to improve our services for young people.”

Bill added: “I think I now know what to do if I see someone hurt or poorly and when to call an ambulance. Richard was really funny and taught us a lot that we didn’t know.”

The visit was organised with NEAS through Hartlepool Healthwatch and the West View Project, a voluntary funded youth organisation which set up the Hartlepool Juniors Inspectors project.

Rebecca Ferguson, service participation for the West View Project, said: “It’s been great to have both groups of young inspectors visit the North East Ambulance Service, they all asked great questions and have learnt a lot from their visits. Both groups were very interested and engaged throughout the sessions especially enjoying the tour of the ambulances.

“It’s great that young people have the opportunity to be involved in our local services and to be able to get a better understanding of parts which they may otherwise not be able to see and hear about.”

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