Dream placement students have been inspired by the NHS

Three Cumbrian students who have been on a ‘dream placement’ at Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust for the past week have told managers how they have been inspired.

Speaking at their final day feedback presentation 17 year old Holly Evans said: “Everyone has been so lovely, it’s an inspirational place to be.”

Holly and two other students, 18year old Amy Scott and 16 year old Agrima Rohatgi, have had a different half term to most students. They have been shadowing various teams within Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) to find out more about what the NHS can offer in terms of careers as well as learning more about the health care system itself.

Interestingly all three students said how they thought the NHS was typically just a place where doctors and nurses work but through the week long placement they’ve learnt that there is a lot more to the organisation.

Holly said: “I think a lot of people don’t understand the NHS and that is why they don’t’ go into it, they don’t understand the range of career paths that are in the NHS, it’s so much more than Drs and nurses.”

The three teenagers have been shadowing clinical teams at Penrith hospital and Carleton Clinic, as well as a range of management staff at Trust HQ including the Chief Executive Claire Molloy, and other support staff such as HR and the communications team.

After reflecting on their time with CPFT the students presented their feedback to the management team. All three of them commented on the Trust’s values of kindness, ambition, spirit and fairness, and explained how they had picked up on these and could tell staff understood them and used them which they really liked.

Amy said: “To come into such a big organisation and for everyone to be so kind has been really nice, it’s been easier to enjoy when people are speaking to us and saying hello. The whole organisation is full of sprit; it’s all about helping people. It’s lovely that everyone has such positive views on their jobs when there are such negative reports in the paper.

She added: “It was useful to hear about the different routes people have taken within their careers as there is only so much your parents and school can tell you. It was also was good to see how determined everyone is.”

Agrima said: “When we were at Penrith hospital they talked about fairness and explained that in this organisation the most senior people spend time at the front line because they feel that is the best way to do their job.”

The students had some great ideas about getting young people into NHS career paths and how to improve the CPFT dream placement.

Amy suggested: “I think that the Trust needs to go into schools more and use people like us to say what we have done. Young people are more likely to connect with other young people.”

Agrima said: “I think that it would be good to devise specific placement programmes depending on which career path people are looking at such as psychiatry, finance or health visiting. I don’t think that people are aware of the huge range of courses and apprenticeships that you can do in the NHS and even the huge range of nursing and medical careers you can go into.”

Daniel Scheffer, Associate Director for Corporate Governance for CPFT said: “I think that we should really think about how we listen and connect to the voice of young people when we are designing services.”

Lynn Marsland, Director of Workforce and Organisational Development for CPFT comments: “From hearing the student’s thoughts this week I have learnt that we don’t sell ourselves enough as an organisation and we need to promote all the different careers within the NHS better to make young people aware of the opportunities.”

She was also very pleased that the students picked up on how the values were being embedded into the normal day to day working of Trust staff.

Holly and Agrima are both keen to go into a medicine career after sixth form and Amy is interested in pursuing a career within HR. During their time with the Trust the girls made daily video blogs about what they’ve been up to:

Day 1: https://youtu.be/8B9i73V8HCI

Day 2: https://youtu.be/1HTEedBzZVk

Day 3: https://youtu.be/mbRuvyZrtzg

Day 4: https://youtu.be/w1VcpWg2GCU

Day 5: https://t.co/RL3WAvYZWV

 See the full interview with Lynn Marsland about what the Trust has learned here
The girls applied for the Dream Placement via the Centre for Leadership who help young people gain work experience.