Young people's voices sought for hospital advisory group

A young female and a teenage male student stand in the gardens of Fiona Stanley Hospital
Amber Medlock (left) and Adam Csontos are seeking to join the Youth Advisory Group
June 1, 2021

Amber Medlock is no stranger to spending long periods of time in hospital.

The 18 year old has multiple conditions including Ehlers Danlos syndrome, gastroparesis, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, chronic anemia and anxiety.

“My date of diagnosis – 4 November 2019 – was a day that changed my life forever,” Amber said.

“When I list my chronic illnesses it’s extremely daunting for people, but for me it’s become a way of life.

“I am proud to be a 'zebra' – it comes with long term suffering, but it has provided me with valued friendships, greater understandings and a whole new world of opportunity.”

While 15 year old Adam Csontos was only an inpatient at Fiona Stanley Hospital for a week due to a bone infection, he was very grateful for the care he received.

“I found the ward staff genuinely cared about me and I thought that I would like to give back to the hospital in some way,” Adam said.

Adam and Amber are now ensuring they continue to have a voice when it comes to their health care by joining the inaugural Fiona Stanley Hospital (FSH) Youth Advisory Group (YAG).

Establishing a formal partnership, the YAG acts as a consultative group for young people to promote and represent consumer, carer and community issues.

FSH Acting Nurse Unit Manager Paediatrics, Jain Sebastian, said the YAG will provide advice and recommendations to the paediatric health service and will represent the views of children and adolescents that have past or present health experiences.

“We’re looking for people aged between 12 and 20 who have had experiences with the FSH paediatric ward, emergency department or paediatric outpatient services,” Jain said.

“We want young people who have used our services to drive the conversation around these same services – we want them to raise issues, develop ideas and solutions, make recommendations to enhance programs and apply their lived experience to situations.”

The YAG team also includes paediatric and emergency ward staff members who, together with parents and caregivers, continually work to improve the care provided to children and adolescents.

To register your interest for the YAG, please contact the FSH Switchboard on 6152 2222 and ask to be put through to the Nurse Unit Manager Paediatrics Ward.

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