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‘Phenomenal’ support offered to children’s hospital’s new recruits hailed


By Alan Beresford

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(From left) Prab Singh, Louise Forsyth, Mike Reidy, Finlay Thomson, Tracey Thomson and Kay Davies at a special staff screening of the new films at Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital.
(From left) Prab Singh, Louise Forsyth, Mike Reidy, Finlay Thomson, Tracey Thomson and Kay Davies at a special staff screening of the new films at Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital.

NHS Grampian is celebrating the launch of a series of new film clips to support the recruitment of children’s theatre staff.

The clips will be added to job ads, to offer people from across the country and across the world a better idea of how they could benefit from working with children in a major trauma centre in Aberdeen.

Prabhkirat Singh relocated to Aberdeen from Coventry to train as an operating department practitioner (ODP). His training was funded by NHS Grampian and he also received a salary as a trainee. He is now fully qualified and joined Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital (RACH) at the end of last year.

Prab said: “The support I’ve been given has been phenomenal.

“They’re ready to teach here, they’re ready to ask if you need anything and the training provided is really good. I would encourage anyone to come to Aberdeen and work because of the easy access to nature; I love the beach, and the people. I’ve met really genuine people who have really helped me out.”

The north-east's community spirit was a common selling point among staff who were interviewed for the films.

Paediatric orthopaedic consultant, Mike Reidy commented: “The best thing about living in Grampian is probably the people – they’re the most community minded people I have come across.

“That, and I can cycle to work.”

A UK-wide shortage of anaesthetists has affected the children's hospital’s ability to recruit enough specialist paediatric anaesthetists in recent years. Theatre nurses and operating department practitioners also play essential roles in the safe and effective running of theatres, and all those who work with children require specialist training.

This takes time. This means planning over the longer term and attracting people with the right skill-mix or readiness to learn is essential.

Consultant paediatric anaesthetist Dr Claire Wallace explained: “We are a small team and I feel like I’m part of something here.

“We all go to medical school because we want to help people and I think with paediatric anaesthetics you see it every day, with every patient, that you’re making an impact.

“Work wise in Aberdeen there’s not just the clinical job, there’s loads of opportunities here. There's management roles, education – both within anaesthetics and at the university – there's research jobs, there’s loads of work on sustainability. You name it, it’s happening.”

Finlay Thomson (17), who was admitted to hospital with Ewing sarcoma when he was just eight years old, knows the team well and has also played a part in the film.

Reflecting on his experiences of being supported by RACH over the years, he said: “The staff were amazing, they came and helped me all the time. I never really needed anything as they already had it for me. I used to play with paper aeroplanes with the staff and it was always fun – the fun staff, the play area, it helped a lot with my recovery.

“They would always be there for me no matter the time or the day.”

Consultant paediatric anaesthetist Dr Kay Davies led plans for the new films. She said: “There are many benefits of working as part of the small, specialist team we have at Royal Aberdeen Children's Hospital.

“We can instigate change more easily, we don't have an intensive care unit but we do have an excellent paediatric high dependency unit and are heavily involved in delivering critical care. We also have an extensive focus on training and paediatric simulation. We're a progressive, well-equipped team with high standards of expertise and high standards of safety.”

To register an interest in future children’s theatre vacancies, please email kerry.cameron@nhs.scot

More information about working or training as an anaesthetist in Aberdeen is available at https://aberdeenanaesthesia.org/

For more information about the role of an operating department practitioner and other roles available, visit NHSScotland Careers.

View the films on the RACH playlist on NHS Grampian’s YouTube channel. Find out more about Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital at https://www.rach.scot.nhs.uk/



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