The Children and Young People’s Health Outcome Forum report made it clear that children, young people and their families should be included in any decisions about delivery and development of the care they receive.  This was recognised by the PiP Board and at the 2013 Annual Conference.

Engaging Children & Young People in Service Development

Following the Annual Conference, this event was held on 28th March 2014

The aims of the event were to:

  • hear the experiences of young people: how can they influence our work?
  • build confidence in professionals in engaging with children and young people
  • explore how we embed the concept into organisations and influence our Senior Leaders
  • share examples of good practice
  • develop supportive networks for those engaged in this work

This was an immensely successful day, mainly due to the involvement of the young people – eight ‘Health Champions’ from Shropshire and three students from the Ormiston Sir Stanley Matthews Academy (OSSMA) in Stoke on Trent.There were several presentations:

Kath Evans (Head of Patient Experience for Maternity, Neonates and Children and Young People) reminded participants that the ‘rights’ of children and young people are enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child – which the UK signed up to in 1991.Her presentation demonstrated that there is a lot of good practice taking place in many areas. However, she challenged delegates to question their practice and ensure that we all challenge the culture of our respective organisations, particularly in ensuring that the voice of C&YP are heard at Board level.

Professor Rod Thomson (Director of Public Health, Shropshire) and Ann Hartley (Lead Member for Children’s Services, Shropshire Council), stressed the importance of ensuring that an organisation’s leadership is fully engaged in this work. School Councils and members of the Youth Parliament are representative and democratic and therefore good vehicles for involving young people.

Then there was a Quiz..

The Health Champions from Shropshire had developed a quiz –‘Are you smarter than a 10 year old?’ (based on the TV programme of the same name). The questions were based on the young people’s different experiences of using our health services. This was highly interactive and involved a lot of audience participation! It also left much room for thought.The young people had also developed a number of Top Tips to be taken into consideration when working with them:

  1. Always introduce yourself and say what your role is: ‘hashtag hello my name is’ (Dr Kate Granger’s campaign)
  2. Explain what you are doing to a young person and why
  3. Don’t talk down to a young person / don’t patronise them
  4. DUA! Don’t use acronyms
  5. If you need to use specialist language please explain it
  6. Don’t treat us as if we are a rag doll –‐ we have feelings and value our personal space
  7. Don’t make us feel small –‐ believe what we are saying
  8. Don’t make us feel guilty
  9. Talk to us as well as our parent or carer and make our parent or carer feel valued. They’re frightened too and we worry about them
  10. Make us feel safe
  11. Listen. Don’t keep making us repeat ourselves
  12. Try not to give us conflicting advice
  13. Be aware of our feelings
  14. It’s OK to say you don’t know something or to apologise
  15. Don’t be the bad apple; be the good example and be proud!

 

Summary

Although a lot of good practice is currently taking place, it is clear that further work could be done. During the course of the day, several delegates said that they had been inspired and motivated to do more, but some people commented that they would now change how they take things forward. One delegate said: “I feel really inspired and it reminds me of the reasons we all work with children & young people in the first place.”

Progress since the event:

 – Delegates who attended the event have been asked to feedback how work is progressing in their respective organisations (We worked with some of the young people to design a questionnaire to gather this information, using Survey Monkey)

– In liaison with the Young Health Champions Project Manager from Shropshire CCG, we are exploring the opportunities to re-create and video the interactive quiz that the young people developed, so that it can be shared as an example of ‘good practice’

– Progress was reported at the Board meeting held on 16th July 2014. – Progress and outcomes were presented at the 2014 Annual Conference on 21st October.

Certificates of Recognition were given to four Trusts, in recognition of the work undertaken in Engaging with children & young people in health service provision (since attending the event):

– Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

– Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt NHS Foundation Trust

– The Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital NHS Trust

– Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust