Healthwatch make sure that the voices of young people are listened to and understood by those designing and running services.
Your views can shape how services are run today and how they are designed for the future.
Healthwatch worked with Barnardo's to look at the experiences of young people with long term health conditions. We wanted to understand how they had been supported in terms of their mental health and wellbeing.
- Most young people Healthwatch spoke to said that they had to actively seek out information about support services for mental health. These services were not offered alongside the care of the physical condition.
- Young people feel services should not support their physical health conditions without taking into account their emotional and mental health needs and similarly not deal with their emotional and mental health needs without taking into account their physical long term health condition.
- CAMHS was a well-recognised service but there were issues of waiting times.
- School nurse and community organisations were helpful.
During our discussion with young people we heard how long-term conditions can have a significant impact on emotional wellbeing. Over half of the young people who completed the online survey told us their health condition had affected their life quite a lot or had a massive impact on their life.
Healthwatch worked in partnership with Barnardo's in Bradford to create a toolkit for primary care services to improve engagement with young people.
This toolkit offers practical ideas and resources to develop participation work with children and young people within primary health care services. It explains how participation by children and young people can help primary care services to demonstrate the Care Quality Commission’s five key lines of enquiry: Safe, Effective, Caring, Responsive and Well led. Local GP practices helped us develop the practical tools that can help deliver positive outcomes for young people.
Download the toolkit, or contact Healthwatch to find out more.
Healthwatch young volunteers have previously undertaken a “walk about” on some of the young people’s wards to gather views about the hospital environment and listen to patients’ views about the care they receive. During the walk about there were some concerns raised about nutrition and hydration.
This visit was organised as an opportunity to follow up some of these concerns; Healthwatch representatives were given the opportunity to check what young people’s experiences were on another children’s ward, Ward 17.
Key findings from our Enter and View visit:
- Good play area for younger children, however room for improvement for older children.
- Very good display on Friends & Family Test, easy to understand and eye-catching.
- We found people were happy with the menu choices available, but struggled to identify suitability for their dietary requirements.
- The child-friendly menu was available but not in use on the ward.
- We heard about some difficulties in monitoring food/fluid intake.
Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have welcomed the opportunity to hear the views of the young people, and will be keeping us updated about changes they make to the wards.
Mehvish, one of our young volunteers was interviewed talking about her experience taking part in this work - here's what she had to say.