Getting young people involved with health research
Up and down the country, local Healthwatch are finding new ways to make sure people get to share their views of health and care. We look at Healthwatch Dudley’s award winning approach to listening to young people.
In a recent poll, five in ten young people said they would be interested in helping improve local health and care services by sharing their experiences. We spoke to Healthwatch Dudley to find out more about their work to ensure more young people have their say.
What did you do?
We teamed up with Dudley’s Youth Service to set up our Dudley Youth Health Researchers project. With the help of funding from NHS England, the project aimed to get more young people involved in health research by supporting those who wanted to make a difference.
We wanted those who make decisions about health and care services to hear what young people thought of health and care services.
We brought together a group of young people from different backgrounds, with a wide range of experiences, including disability, living in care or supported accommodation and caring for others.
We gave the volunteers support and training they needed to produce evidence based research and supported them in producing questionnaires that they shared with local schools, youth groups and support groups.
- Engaging young volunteers and giving them a voice
- What motivates people to volunteer?
- Why young people get involved in helping shape health and care
What was the impact?
Through their hard work they have collected the views of 1,100 young people. As well as providing valuable intelligence that we can share with local health and care professionals the project also helped those involved develop new skills.
Learning from the project is also being used to help develop a ‘young champion’ programme that is being set up by Dudley Public Health, Dudley CCG, Dudley CVS and Healthwatch Dudley.
We have secured funding from the Dudley borough Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services Transformation Plan to interrogate its findings and use the results to help shape how future mental health services for children and young people.
We were also really proud to be recognised for this work at the Healthwatch Network Awards, where we won the award for Diversity and Inclusion.
How else is local Healthwatch making an impact?
For more stories of how local Healthwatch is working to make your voice count in health and care, take a look at our new publication that highlights the winners and highly commended local Healthwatch from this year’s Healthwatch Network Awards.