Young patients given tour of QA’s pathology department

From left - Laura Wainwright (Consultant Clinical Biochemist), Mark Cubbon (Chief Executive of the Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust), Liam Merrick and brother Sam Merrick, Melloney Poole (Chairman of The Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust), and Andrew Flatt (linical Director of Pathology). Picture by Malcolm Wells (180405-3322.
From left - Laura Wainwright (Consultant Clinical Biochemist), Mark Cubbon (Chief Executive of the Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust), Liam Merrick and brother Sam Merrick, Melloney Poole (Chairman of The Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust), and Andrew Flatt (linical Director of Pathology). Picture by Malcolm Wells (180405-3322.
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YOUNG patients were given the chance to see behind the scenes of a pathology department.

Queen Alexandra Hospital, in Cosham, has launched the Harvey’s Gang initiative which gives children the chance to see what happens to their blood when samples are taken.

This scheme gives young patients a good insight behind the scenes

Andrew Flatt

The first tour of its kind was held yesterday and saw three regular patients of the paediatrics departments give their blood and then take it to the pathology department and loaded into a machine for testing.

One of the children to be given an exclusive tour of the laboratory was Sam Merrick, of Denmead. He was joined by his brother Liam and dad Paul.

Together, they got to see the laboratory where blood samples are tested, put the sample into the machine and turn it on.

Paul said: ‘It was really good of the hospital to organise to take the kids around to the process of what happens to the blood when they take it.

‘It is also a good opportunity for the staff to see the kids who regularly have to give blood and explain to them the whole process.

‘I hope it is something they continue to do. Both Sam and Liam really enjoyed it.’

The Harvey’s Gang scheme started in Worthing and is named after Harvey Baldwin, who sadly died from cancer in 2014.

While in hospital for his acute myeloid leukaemia, the eight-year-old was curious about what happened to his blood once it went into the vacuum tube which delivers samples to pathology.

So the children’s ward arranged for Harvey to visit the haematology laboratories.

Andrew Flatt, director of pathology at QA Hospital, said the first tour was a great success and they are hoping to do more in the future.

‘This scheme gives young patients a good insight behind the scenes,’ he said.

‘It is important for the patients to know about themselves and what happens to the samples they give.

‘Everything we do is for the patients, that is a fundamental thing. It is good to be able to share what we do with the patients.’