Siblings take part in takeover challenge at Great Ormond Street

Grace and Morgan Burkinshaw taking part in the takeover challenge at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Grace and Morgan Burkinshaw taking part in the takeover challenge at Great Ormond Street Hospital. - Credit: Archant

Two lucky children from Backwell spent the day working at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) in London as part of the Children’s Takeover Challenge.

The hospital offers the opportunity to its young patients so they can see how hospitals are run and to give staff the chance to find out what families think about the services.

Morgan Burkinshaw, aged 10, has received treatment at the hospital as he suffers from eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorder (EGID) and multiple food allergies.

Morgan and his sister Grace, aged 12, were invited to take part in the takeover day where they were given the opportunity to work in a hospital department and go behind the scenes at the paediatric centre.

Celebrities, politicians and teachers have previously taken part in the challenge.

Fiona Jones, children and young people’s participation officer at GOSH, said: “Takeover is a great opportunity for children and young people to learn about and meet the people that run the hospital services they access.

“GOSH works hard to ensure that we are listening to and involving children and young people in the way that the hospital treats our families.

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“Takeover day is the perfect opportunity to put that into practice and let all levels of our staff hear first-hand from our patients.”

Grace was interested to find out about food ordering and how the hospital caters for people with food allergies and Morgan was keen to learn about the hospital’s energy use, so they both spent the day with the property and redevelopment services team.

The siblings were given a behind-the-scenes tour of the building and learnt about the systems in place which help run the hospital.

They shadowed engineers, visited the plant rooms and the kitchen, learnt about the food ordering system and sat in on a meeting to plan new spaces in the hospital.

Morgan said: “The plant spaces are quite simply amazing and the work they do on sustainability is impressive.”

Grace added: “The team in the diet kitchen were really informative.

“Thank you for the special lunches you gave us.”

Morgan suffered with chronic bowl problems since birth but was finally diagnosed with EGID at Great Ormond Street Hospital when he was six.

Morgan gets chronic stomach cramps if he eats certain foods and also suffers from reflux. aches, bruising, insomnia and weight loss if exposure is prolonged.

Grace also suffers from food allergies and their parents Rachel and Mike cook everything from scratch to avoid cross contamination which makes meal times a challenge.

The family has been raising awareness of EGID since Morgan’s diagnosis and raising funds for the Families Affected by Eosinophilic Disorders (FABED).