Children help to recruit new nurse

A campaign to recruit a new children’s nurse included input from young people during the interview.

A nurse was needed to work with The Looked After Children (LAC) service and after making it to interview, the panel included one of the children they would later be working with.

The LAC nurses work for Oxleas on behalf of Greenwich Borough Council to give regular health checks and medical assessments to children under their care. They work with the children and their social workers to improve and promote health.

Oxleas’ Acting Designated Nurse for LAC, Sew Lan Ooi, is based at Wensley Close in Eltham and approached the local Children in Care Council to see if any of the young people would like to help with the recruitment.

Her team regularly consults with children and young people on various projects. She said: “We value their opinions and ideas, their views are at the heart of building services for them.”

Vinnie, who is a looked after child, stepped up and joined the interview panel to help decide on the best candidate.

The 14-year-old had the opportunity to ask questions and let the panel know who he thought was the best for the role with the children.

It’s not the first time he’s helped with interviews – he also helped recruit senior managers within the Council’s Children’s Services, having had specific training in what to look for, added to his own instinct.

Sew Lan said: “It gave us the chance to see how the candidates interact and communicate with a young service user and gave the young person, on behalf of their peers, the chance to select the candidate with qualities that were important to them.

“His scores closely matched the rest of the panel’s and so we all decided on the same candidate.”

Jacqueline Simmons is now in post and after some initial training, will start work with the young people soon.

She brings to the role a career including a background in school nursing.

Vinnie said: “Having the opinion of the young people means that we have someone in the job who we want and feel will do a good job.

“It’s good to be asked, so that we can help decide something important like this.”

Published on 9th December 2015