Working with our community 

Governor’s community visit

Many of you will know Ros Waring does an excellent job attending meetings of local community groups.  A governor often accompanies her, and many of the groups discuss health-related issues such as diet, coronary heart disease, or cancer.  These discussions are facilitated by a member of the clinical staff at UCLH.

In the summer I accompanied Ros to a meeting of the Henna Asian Women's Centre - the group comprises Asian women over 50 and meets weekly. On this occasion the topic for discussion was 'healthy eating' and Lisa Hancock, Head of Dietetics, and several of her students also went - accompanied by a large number of plastic fruit and vegetables.  I found the whole event interesting and inspiring.  Several of the women had spent the morning making some delicious healthy curries, which we all ate together, after which Lisa explained how to eat healthily.  No fancy 5:2 or high-protein diets here, just sound dietary advice delivered in a clear and accessible manner. 
There was a lot of discussion, and many questions.  Several of the women who have diabetes were particularly interested in how to improve their diets.  The women spoke in a wide range of languages and there was a lot of informal translating going on throughout the discussion.
Ros explained how to become a member of UCLH, and quite a lot of the women filled in membership forms. I spoke briefly about what governors do and how they represent the members. I also told them that we had welcomed our first elected Bangladeshi governor (Fazlul Chowdhury) last September, and that prior to that Ros had participated in a number of events held by Camden's Bangladeshi community organisations.
After the discussion had ended we were invited to participate in the women's regular exercise class, which everyone was very enthusiastic about.  Unfortunately none of us could stay for it.

I really enjoyed my visit and meetings such as these are a really good way for governors to engage with diverse community groups and providing participants with reliable health-related information.

Veronica Beechey
Patient Governor

Work experience

 Beth Glynn-Ramsden(r) with Ros Waring membership development manager

Beth Glynn-Ramsden(r) with Ros Waring membership development manager

In March 2014, Beth Glynn-Ramsden spent two weeks at UCLH on work experience, and shares her reflections:

I was given the opportunity to get an insight into the workings of UCLH for work experience. I am in year 10 and before my two week experience, did not know much about the different jobs and responsibilities of people working there. During my time there I was able to shadow some people working in clinical settings, which was very interesting as I got to meet lots of new people and see how they deal with different patients and their needs. I also got to work with a team who dealt with enquiries and comments on how to improve patient care. While doing this, I was able to talk to some patients in the Cancer Centre and help them to fill in surveys. Another exciting part of my two weeks was a tour of the mock hospital in the education centre, where I got to try out one of the robots they use for surgery.

I also worked in the membership office with Ros Waring, where I was shown how UCLH gains members, what members of the hospitals can do and how everything is run. We attended some events, for example a coffee morning at Camden Age UK, where Ros promoted the memberships and governors. Another example was the International Women’s Day event at the Calthorpe Project garden near King’s Cross, where there were many stalls set up outside, one of which was the membership stall encouraging people to become members of UCLH.  I took some photos of the event to go into UCLH News which goes out to members all over the country. Through these events, I was able to meet a lot of new and interesting people, especially at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, where I spoke to some patients and encouraged them to become a member and listened to their different and interesting stories.

I now know how many different jobs there are here, and how important each one is. This was very interesting for me, as I knew that I wanted a career in helping people, and now understand how many different opportunities there are.

These two weeks have been different from anything I’ve ever done, and have been interesting and exciting, as well as showing me how various areas of a hospital work and how many different and fun opportunities there are.

I would like to thank Ros for organising these events and to everyone who I worked with during the two weeks, all of which gave me an exciting insight into the workings of a hospital.

Bengali Workers Association (BWA)

"At UCLH we are delighted to be able to work with our local communities. In September 2012 Mr Kolvekar, consultant surgeon at the Heart Hospital gave a talk at the Bengali Workers Association (BWA) in Camden on heart surgery (a summary of his talk can be viewed in the Autumn edition of UCLH News, page 3). In October, Sheena Visram, Lead Dietician at the Heart Hospital followed up the talk with a ‘cook and eat’ session. Sheena demonstrated how food can be cooked and prepared more healthily to promote heart heath. The chef at the café in the BWA cooked lunch using Sheena's recommended substitutes and all those who attended the session were invited to stay for lunch and see how it compared - one member described the lunch as "yummy!" At the Heart Hospital we work closely with the British Heart Foundation to support and inform our patients and their information leaflets and recipes booklets were available at the event. The session was filmed and is available to view below."

Gill Gaskin, Medical Director Specialist Hospitals Board, UCLH

Click here to view this video in subtitles