We started off our July meeting very short on numbers due to the summer holidays beginning, but gradually people arrived and we had a good quorum. We then began proceedings with an update on the Gloucestershire COVID-19 situation, where we were told that there were currently 20 hospitalised cases with only 3 being in critical care, all patients who had only had one vaccine dose or none. We agreed this was positive and as a group we would endeavour to promote vaccination as much as possible, especially to the younger generation.

After the quick update on the COVID-19 situation throughout the county we moved to the meetings main event, which was a talk on the county’s plan in regards to sustainability and future plans to counteract climate change. We talked on the links between climate change and the recent heatwaves causing heatstroke and a rise in hospital admittances. In addition to this the effects of flooding on mental health was mentioned with particular reference to Tewksbury in 2007. We then looked at the Trust’s map of contribution to greenhouse gas emissions and how these were being manged through decarbonisation as well as the benefits of virtual outpatient meetings online which have limited journeys into the hospitals, and as a geography student I was very interested in these. We were then made aware of the Trust’s goal of being carbon neutral by 2040, a goal which at the current time seems very far away – but plans are in place and it’s a great goal to have. Lastly, we moved talk to the current matron of the children’s centre in Gloucester hospital who was there to listen to our feedback on the progress of the rebranding of the children’s centre as well as the potential renaming.

As for myself, having finished A-Levels, bringing an end to my school career in a rather strange way, I am waiting nervously for my results. I am also in the process of studying for my UCAT exam which I will take in late September, as well as preparing as much work experience as I can and planning what I can be doing the year ahead to boost my application to medical school in mid-October.