Health and Social Care – The Views of Young People

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Sandwell undertook research into young people’s understanding and use of health and social care services.  They undertook a survey to which 364 people responded and facilitated 9 focus groups involving 71 young people.

Most young people were aware of and had used GP services, dentists, and opticians. Feedback on dentists and opticians was generally positive but for GP practices feedback was largely focused on waiting times and the difficulty of accessing appointments. There had been limited use of both A&E and Walk-In Centres and again the feedback was largely concerned with waiting times within these services.

Waiting times were also an issue around accessing mental health services, however, there was also feedback in relation to the engagement with professionals and how supported and listened to young people who had used the service felt. Being listened to by professionals was a theme from the feedback across services, not just around mental health services but with GP services, and particularly around the school nurse and being able to be involved in decision making about what happened to them.

Education providers were seen as having a role in providing information, advice and guidance to students, but it was felt that they were not always sufficiently trained and informed to be able to support students in accessing services and that sometimes there was a lack of provision within schools and colleges, particularly regarding mental health support.

The need for more mental health provision dominated discussions within focus groups. The young people identified the need for lower level preventative support as well as quicker access to specialist support. It was highlighted throughout this research that young people have the skills and ideas of how the issues identified can be tackled. Many suggestions can be built upon through working directly with the young people themselves.

There were 4 recommendations about the need to ensure that young people’s views were used to improve local services; raising awareness of existing services; reviewing mental health services and improving waiting times for wellbeing services for young people

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General details

Report title 
Health and Social Care – The Views of Young People
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Sandwell
Date of publication 
Friday, 19 June, 2020
Date evidence capture began 
Tuesday, 1 October, 2019
Date evidence capture finished 
Tuesday, 31 December, 2019
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Communication between staff and patients
Health promotion
Holistic support
Information providing
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of appointment
Quality of care
Staff attitudes
Waiting time to be seen once arrived at appointment
Waiting times and lists for treatment
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
Focus group
How was the information collected? 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
Dentist (non-hospital)
GP practice
NHS 111
Urgent care services
Secondary care services 
Accident & emergency
Mental health services 
Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS)
Social care services 
Children services
Urgent and emergency care services 
Accident & emergency
NHS 111

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
All people under the age of 18
Not known
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Not known
Does the information include staff's views? 
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.