Alex Burulea may only be 17 and still studying for his A-levels, but he is also our patient partner, working alongside our Trust to improve care for children and young people.
Alex, who hopes to become a plastic surgeon and help people with burns or who need reconstructive surgery, first got involved with us when he started to volunteer last summer. A few months in, he was asked to become a patient partner to the Children and Young People’s division, and he hasn’t looked back since.
He said: “I wanted to volunteer at my local hospital because of my interest in medicine and I’ve really enjoyed it. The ward staff are great and really engage me in everything.
“As a patient partner for children and young people, I speak to patients on the ward, to get their feedback and see where we can make improvements. I am their representative and as a young person myself, I can understand their concerns. I find it really interesting to hear their stories.”
Alex, of Lindsey Road, Dagenham, is keen to encourage other local people to volunteer at their local hospital, and also to become patient partners.
He added: “Lots of people at my college volunteer, but not everyone realises that you can volunteer at hospitals, and make a real difference by becoming a patient partner. I am involved in everything my division does and I give my opinion. That can make a real difference in improving the experience of children and young people in hospital.”
Ian James, Chairman of our Patient Partnership Council on which Alex sits, said: “We are very lucky to have someone of Alex’s enthusiasm and abilities working with our Children and Young People’s division.
“We’re made up of volunteers from the community who are patients or whose relatives use Queen’s and King George hospitals. Patient partners work with the Trust, helping them to see things from the patient’s perspective, and we have them aligned to several of our divisions. There are lots of opportunities to get involved in making a difference at your local hospital.”
We’re always on the lookout for local people to get involved in volunteering, or becoming a patient partner. In particular, partners are currently being sought for the Anaesthetics, Maternity, Specialist Medicine and Outpatients departments.
If you have an interest in any of these areas and would like to know more, contact our Patient Experience Office; email@example.com.