Alec Musson’s Story

Alec Musson – Service Manager, Children’s Hospital

“I am a Service Manager in the Leeds Children’s Hospital. There are four service managers and I manage critical care, neurology, the neo-natal service and all the allied health professions such as occupational and physiotherapy. It’s a very varied job with a lot of time pressures.

“The charity has helped Leeds Children’s Hospital in many ways, including toy donations at Christmas and eggs at Easter for the children. One of my jobs is the lead for communications so I get to collect stories and take photographs for social media when the charity has donated something or to include in the Children’s Hospital staff newsletter.

“The donations have a huge impact. It distracts the children from the procedures and operations they might be having with us and makes it feel like the hospital is an enjoyable place to be. It’s the smaller things that make a big difference.

“The charity has put in new signs at the ward entrances, which makes it look more welcoming, and they also supported the staff awards ceremony. That was a fantastic night and it was good for morale. Elsewhere, they’ve supported the youth workers. We previously had no youth workers and now we have a team. The youth worker team play an important role in supporting older teenagers and young adults because they understand their issues. Teenagers can pop into a space designed especially for them, The Place2Be, where they can chill out away from the ward or speak to a youth worker or peers to share their experiences, their concerns or anxieties.

“We also have a youth forum which is an active group which has been going for about two years. It offers peer support but also operational direction for the hospital.

“Leeds Children’s Hospital staff have supported the charity too. We took over a Parkrun one weekend last year and our staff ball raised more than £3,000 for the charity.

“The best part of my job is getting the pathway right for the patient so that it’s a positive experience and they’re seen and treated as soon as possible. The extras the charity can provide are part of that pathway, especially if it makes a child’s journey less scary and threatening.”