UNIVERSITY students spoke directly to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt at an event which highlighted how they can make positive changes to the NHS during their studies and placements.

The discussion over the internet with Mr Hunt was organised for students at Newcastle’s Northumbria University by County Durham midwife Jane Douthwaite.

It was part of NHS ‘Fab Change Week’ – a week long annual campaign, of which Ms Douthwaite is an ambassador, which is aimed at encouraging improvement in the health service.

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Roy Lilley, a former NHS Trust chairman and now writer and broadcaster, also spoke at the event.

Ms Douthwaite, a former student at Northumbria University, said: “Education plays such a key role in driving change so it’s important students are given a voice.”

As part of NHS Fab Change Week staff are encouraged to pledge an idea or a promise that they themselves will do over the next year to help improve the NHS.

Emma Graham, a final year midwifery student from Darlington, said: “I think the event has been inspirational and it’s been a successful afternoon hearing everybody’s pledges.”

Northumbria University was the only university visited as part of a tour of the country to promote Fab Change Week.