Staff at the Genito-urinary Medicine (GUM) Department in Bishop
Auckland Hospital are celebrating after becoming the first in the
region to achieve 'You're Welcome' accreditation. This
accreditation is awarded by the Department of Health to highlight
services which are young people friendly.
To achieve this status, the department had to meet a set of
criteria, which involved reviewing aspects of the service, while
keeping young people in mind.
The criteria included accessibility, environment, training of
staff and publicity.
At the beginning of the process, staff used a toolkit to review
how their current services met the 'You're Welcome' criteria. From
these results, staff were able to identify areas of good practice
to build on as well as where changes needed to be made and form an
action plan as to how they were going to do this.
Throughout this process, staff have involved young people
responding to their feedback and suggestions and, as a result, many
improvements have been made to the service. For example, to promote
the department to young people and make them aware of the services
they provide, a leaflet aimed solely at young people was designed
and a simple triage form was introduced rather than a patient
needing to vocally provide their details and reason for attending
The staff invited young people into the department in a 'mystery
shopper' style piece of work to gain feedback and also carried out
a survey on 100 users of the service. 99 surveys were returned and
the results provided positive feedback particularly on staff
attitude, confidentiality of the service and the environment.
The environment of the department has been made more welcoming
to younger people. For example, alongside a new patient feedback
board there is also a large notice board which provides young
people with key information about the service.
Sue Thompson, Clinical Services Manager - Gynaecology and
Sexual Health Women's, Children's and Sexual Health
Division said: "Being awarded the 'You're Welcome'
accreditation is a fantastic achievement for the GUM Department. It
has formalised the great work the staff were already doing with
young people. Staff have worked hard towards this and have enjoyed
learning how services can be adapted to meet the needs of young
people. Being the first in the region to receive the accreditation
makes it an even greater achievement and is the recognition the
Staff hope this recognition will give more young people the
confidence to use the service should they need to, and have the
knowledge that they will find a friendly sexual health service that
meets their needs.
Jo Adlington, GUM Clinic Manager added: "Achieving the
accreditation was hard work but it was a good experience because it
really highlighted how well we were doing anyway but also areas
where things could be improved or where we had things to learn.
We've used this to enhance and improve the service so that we are
able to deliver the best service we possibly can for young people,
which what we all want to do."
'I would like to thank all the staff for my treatment and their
Patient, Cardiology Department, Bishop Auckland Hospital