UHP have recently welcomed their first Harvey’s Gang patient, Kaston, as a Trainee Scientist for the day. Kaston is currently undergoing a 4-year treatment plan to tackle leukaemia and was interested in learning more about what exactly happens to his blood after his frequent blood tests. The idea behind Harvey’s Gang was born in 2013, from young Harvey, an acute leukaemia patient at Worthing Hospital, eager to learn more about where his blood went when it was tested. Willing to assist, the hospital arranged for him to become a Trainee Scientist for the day in a bid to better understand his healthcare. This was such a success that multiple hospitals nationally have now welcomed their own young patients onto the impressive scheme, set up in Harvey’s memory.
Complete with his very own ID badge (thanks to the generous ID card team) and lab coat, Kaston was given a tangible in-depth tour of the combined labs by Harvey Ransom, Biomedical Scientist in haematology. Harvey explains, “It was such a fantastic experience for all involved in welcoming our first mini scientist through the Harvey’s Gang charity. Kaston was a joy to have in the lab and helped link the laboratory team to the patient, to show what part we, as a laboratory team, play in the patient’s journey”. From assisting in checking in the samples at reception, seeing how the automated blood tracking system works, handling frozen plasma in the blood bank and even looking under the microscope, Kaston learned about the fascinating journey that his blood samples embark on once they leave the ward.
Jen, Kaston’s mum, admitted “I just can’t believe how many people play a part in this behind the scenes. It is mind-blowing to see the bigger picture of what happens whilst we anxiously wait during the few hours between bloods being taken and the results being displayed in numbers”. She added, “I am confident, that without the NHS, Kaston wouldn’t be here today, so thank-you to every single one of you.”
Rob Archer, Pathology Manager explained: “I am grateful Harvey’s Gang was introduced to us by our very own Harvey, who is a Biomedical Scientist specialising in haematology. It is such a pleasure to welcome Harvey’s Gang to the Trust. This gives us the incredible opportunity to improve patient experience for young patients like Kaston, by becoming a Trainee Scientist and being able to analyse their own sample within our pathology department. We look forward to welcoming more young patients to this journey in better understanding their healthcare.”
For more information about Harvey’s Gang, please click here.