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Dagenham student calls for volunteers to assist patients at Queen’s Hospital

PUBLISHED: 07:00 24 January 2018

Alex Burulea has hopes of becoming a plastic surgeon.

Alex Burulea has hopes of becoming a plastic surgeon.

Archant

A young volunteer from Dagenham who is still studying for his A-levels has been working to improve care for children and young people in hospital.

Alex Burulea may only be 17, but he is also a patient partner at Queen’s Hospital, Rom Valley Way.

He has hopes of becoming a plastic surgeon and helping people with burns or people who need reconstructive surgery.

The young volunteer first became involved at the hospital trust when he started to volunteer last summer in 2017.

A few months in he was asked to become a patient partner to the Children and Young People’s division.

Alex told the Recorder: “As a patient partner, 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.”

Ian James, chairman of the 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.

“There are lots of opportunities to get involved in making a difference at your local hospital.”

The trust is always on the lookout for local people to get involved in volunteering, or becoming a patient partner.

In particular partners are needed for the Anaesthetics, Maternity, Specialist Medicine and Outpatients departments.

Alex of Lindsey Road, is keen to encourage more 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.”

If you would like to get involved, contact the Patient Experience Office at patientexperience@bhrhospitals.nhs.uk.

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