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Celebrating Our Children’s Health Heroes

healthheroes_alderheyTo celebrate International Children’s Day (June 1st), Skills for Health and National Skills Academy for Health have launched a social campaign to highlight the vital role that support workers play in delivering paediatric care.

Working in partnership with leading children’s hospitals from across the UK, the week-long campaign will showcase the significant contribution that non-clinical workers make to a child’s care and encouraging the public to say ‘thank you’.

Helping to lead the celebrations over the week is Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, one of the UK’s leading children’s hospitals providing vital healthcare and support to the 275,000 patients and families who visit the hospital every year.

Other hospitals involved include Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, and University Hospitals Bristol.

The movement comes as part of Skills for Health’s 2016 campaign, #OurHealthHeroes, to honour the support workers across the UK that contribute to 40% of the healthcare workforce.
#OurHealthHeroes celebrates the 798,600 people across the UK health sector who work as healthcare assistants, assistant practitioners, porters, cleaners, caterers, maintenance staff and administrative staff, by asking trust’s, organisations and individuals who have benefitted from their support to share their stories and thanks.

The week honours those who go above and beyond within paediatric departments and children’s hospitals to make sure children are as comfortable as possible during their stays at hospitals and generally make children smile during what can often be very difficult times, as well as doing an important role of supporting their families.

During the week, blogs, videos and personal stories will be shared across social media using the campaign hashtag, #OurHealthHeroes, with a Twitter chat taking place on Thursday 2nd June involving many different children’s hospitals across the UK to discuss the importance of paediatric care.

Melissa Swindell, Interim Director of Human Resources at Alder Hey says: “Everyone plays their part in making Alder Hey such a special place and the importance of our non-clinical staff cannot be under-estimated. They have a huge role in what we do and it is really important that we recognise how they make a significant difference to our patients and families.

“We are delighted that organisations like Skills for Health recognise the importance of support staff in the NHS and are leading the celebrations as we thank those who help give our children the best experience possible while in hospital.”

Ian Wheeler, Head of Research at Skills for Health says: “Non-clinical worker roles are critical, ensuring that hospital and healthcare practices around the UK are running efficiently and effectively. Those staff who assist with paediatric care often go above and beyond the line of duty to ensure the happiness of the child as well as their families and so we want to say ‘thank you’ to those helping deliver vital paediatric care.

“Our research has shown it is only by understanding the contribution and value of the support worker role that the health sector will be able to realise its potential in terms of productivity and efficiency.”
People can support the campaign by sharing their message of thanks and their personal stories of support workers who have helped their families on Twitter and Facebook by using #OurHealthHeroes or tagging @Skillsforhealth @NSA_Health.

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