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Project SEARCH Post Easter Update 2014

ProjectSEARCH Post Easter Update 2014


Throughout our first year here at Whipps Cross University Hospital, we have continued to develop and promote all aspects of Project SEARCH across the site and beyond. An essential part of this is hosting visitors. We provide them with a broad outline of the aims and ethos of Project SEARCH and the interns give presentations demonstrating exactly how much progress they have made throughout their internship placements.


In recent months we have welcomed Sir Stephen O’Brien (Chairman of Barts Health Trust), Martin Esom (CEO of Waltham Forest) and most recently Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and the MP for Chingford and Woodford Green (see below).

Throughout all these visits, the interns behaved in an extremely professional manner and presented excellent overviews of their placements. All of the visitors expressed gratitude and said how impressed they were with the interns and their presentation skills.


It seems like such a short time ago since we began Project SEARCH journey with the Barts Health Trust, however the interns will shortly be starting their third and final placements. As a team we have looked closely at the skill sets of each individual intern and identified appropriate placements, with the main focus of realistic, achievable jobs at the end. Two of our interns will continue in the departments from their second rotations, to further develop their understanding of the roles and responsibilities of these posts. New internship placements for this rotation are – Medical Records clerk, Stores person and Outpatients receptionist. 


More exciting developments from the last few months have included the start of our Family Involvement Curriculum, which enables us to share information with parents through group sessions and also for the parents’ to share their experiences of the Project thus far with each other. The next session in May will be on Benefits and how to navigate the transition into work for all our interns. We have also started to work with the new round of interns, who will start in September. They have now visited at Whipps Cross and interest in the Project and the incredible opportunities it can offer continues to grow.


The interns have also participated in a cake sale activity which aimed to raise the profile of the Project around the hospital and increase awareness amongst staff and visitors. The interns and Project SEARCH staff made delicious home-made cakes and decorated the pop-up shop with their own designed bunting and made Project SEARCH flags. The interns became incredible promoters/sales people for the day, proclaiming both the deliciousness of their cakes and showing the public perfectly just how great Project SEARCH can be for the confidence of a young person - and the cakes sold out like literal hot cakes!


Finally, the interns had a fantastic day out as part of our ‘Meet up Club’ (and Ben’s 18th birthday) at the Harlow Outdoor Centre doing Archery. Several bulls-eyes were hit and a lot of fun was had. Taking public transport there and back and having a lovely pub lunch altogether really helped to reinforce the social skills the interns are developing and the independence they are continually gaining. Future visits could include cinema, possibly ice skating and when the weather improves maybe even a picnic in Hyde Park.

Student Profile

Name: Ryan

Age: 17

Department: Endoscopy

Job title: Decontamination technician (second rotation)

Job description: Working in a team, Ryan has been responsible for preparing and processing the cameras for Endoscopic procedures. His maturity and willingness to work hard has enabled him to learn a great deal about the cameras that are worth approximately £40,000 each. This experience has enabled Ryan to access interviews at a variety of London hospitals and we eagerly await the outcome. Watch this space…