Volunteering at Alder Hey could help young people pursue a career in health

Volunteering at Alder Hey could help young people pursue a career in health

Volunteering at Alder Hey could help young people pursue a career in health

10th Sep 2018

Alder Hey is hosting a recruitment event for young volunteers from 10am until 3pm on Saturday 15 September at The Institute in the Park on the hospital site.

A new volunteer scheme has been launched at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool to help young people gain essential skills to support their university application.

The Health Careers Passport (HCP) scheme is part of an independent health education programme. Participants will be provided with a health passport to record their experiences overseen and approved by staff, which can then be used to support their university application alongside academic qualifications.

The scheme was created by junior doctors Muhammad Khan and Jing Ouyang who were awarded a grant from Health Education England (HEE) after winning the North West Dragons' Den prize.                              

   Jing Ouyang and Muhammad Khan.jpg  IMG_2565.JPG                

The aim of the HCP scheme is to raise the aspirations of young people from diverse backgrounds to pursue a career in health.

It is being supported by The University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University, The University of Central Lancashire and Edge Hill University.

The doctors have also been working at Alder Hey’s Innovation Hub as part of the European Regional Development Fund Scheme to create a website to provide additional support to volunteers.

Dr Khan, who is currently working as a clinical radiologist in the Mersey School of Radiology, said: “Our philosophy is to promote the importance of the NHS, the rewarding careers within the NHS and support all students regardless of their background to pursue their chosen career in health.

“I attended a local comprehensive school in Liverpool where aspirations for students were limited, so I struggled to find opportunities in terms of work experience, mentoring and support with my UCAS application.

“The entry requirements for medical courses are extremely high and it is a competitive process. 

“I was lucky to gain a place to study medicine, but through my training realised that there was a need to break down barriers and widen participation to develop a more diverse group of health care professionals who can relate to their patients.”

He added: “Working in healthcare is not simply about intellect, there are a lot more essential skills including communication, compassion, adaptability and resilience – these are attributes, which can’t be gained through school studies alone.

“The HCP scheme is a pathway to allow young people to gain practical experience and show that careers in health are within their reach regardless of their background.”

Volunteers will be asked to make a 12 month commitment to The HCP Scheme. They will follow a comprehensive six week induction programme, which includes mandatory training and will also be eligible for some additional training including Learning Disability awareness, Mental Health First Aid, Cultural Competence and Basic Life Support Skills.

Volunteer roles can include anything from supporting staff on the wards to helping with health and wellbeing activities; or engaging with children and young people to provide arts activities and storytelling sessions. The only exclusions for volunteers under 18 would be clinical areas.

The long-term commitment means that volunteers will gain a greater understanding of the different departments in the hospital and the variety of careers in health from radiography, to phlebotomy, prosthetics, speech and language therapy and nutrition.

Executive Director of HR Melissa Swindell said: “The HCP scheme is part of Alder Hey’s commitment to sharing best practice in paediatric care and raising aspirations of young people in Merseyside and the surrounding area.

“We believe that all young people deserve an equal chance in life and we hope that we can encourage potential students to pursue a career in health care through their experiences of volunteering at Alder Hey.

“In the future we may see some of our volunteers and patients return to the hospital as full time members of staff.” 

The practical experience is supported by a website, which has information on various careers in the health service and guidance on how to make the most of your experience to support your university application.

Director of Global Engagement at Health Education England Ged Byrne said: “At Health Education England, our mission is to support the delivery of excellent healthcare and health improvement to the patients and public of England by ensuring that the workforce of today and tomorrow has the right skills, values and behaviours.

“Therefore I am pleased to support the Health Careers Passport, which plays a collaborative part in helping us fulfil this ambition.”

He added: “A career in medicine and other healthcare professions can seem quite daunting for many students looking to apply.

“Often they will be told conflicting information about the application process and the requirements sought after.

“The HCP simplifies this process and ensures that students are doing all the right things and acquiring the right experiences to give them a head start when preparing for their applications.”

For more information visit: www.healthcareersportal.com

Alternatively, email volunteering@alderhey.nhs.uk or call 0151 228 4811

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