Young People: Listening to how they keep healthy, Lambeth

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Lambeth worked with four existing young people settings/groups/clubs, and the help of an experienced youth worker with local connections, and conducted 16 interviews from August to mid-October 2016 speaking to three females and 13 males aged between 16 and 18 years (all but one was of African or Caribbean heritage, including three individuals who described themselves as mixed race). This report is the first of a series of early steps that Healthwatch Lambeth is making to inform the development of a new work stream focused on the health and wellbeing of children and young people. The purpose of this piece of engagement was to explore what young people know and practice in relation to keeping themselves healthy and happy, with the aim of using the results to help inform the direction of our future young people’s workstream. The young people were each given an information sheet about the project, before the interview and consent was obtained. A topic guide was developed covering questions about healthy lifestyles including sexual and mental health, drugs and alcohol. The interviews resulted in revealing a mix of experiences and attitudes towards keeping healthy. The team were reassured to hear that most young people interviewed were practising ‘safe sex’ and spoke responsibly about drinking alcohol and smoking cannabis. However, the levels of anxiety that these young people spoke about were concerning to HW, which seemed to be related to their perceptions of a lack of future opportunity and also heavily influenced by the insecurity they experience in the neighbourhoods that they live in. The interviews highlighted a lack of a support system/ structure that enables young people to change after choosing a certain life path or to grow after a certain age. Secondly, developing respectful and healthy relationships was just as important as ensuring that young people have the basic knowledge with regards to keeping healthy and access to information about health and care services. HW team found several improvements that would ensure young people leave full-time education with a minimum understanding of how to look after their health holistically. Specifically, our interviewees outlined several suggestions as to how to make the delivery and content of Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) in schools more effective and engaging. Young people also spoke positively of the informal role of mentors and staff with a brief to provide emotional support. Additionally, clearly there was a pressing issue of how to improve access to services for young people who require immediate support. HW spoke to 9 youth workers who highlighted the need for support and services that builds the self-esteem of young people and helps them develop the skills to find the opportunities they seek, thus hiring more relatable youth workers who can listen and empathise, but who are also resourced with relevant academic knowledge and service information. With this, youth workers could enhance the outreach and facilitator role that they already undertake with services. HW Lambeth aims to build relationships and conduct further research with the schools, stakeholders and the council.

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General details

Report title 
Young People: Listening to how they keep healthy, Lambeth
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Lambeth
Date of publication 
Monday, 30 October, 2017
Date evidence capture began 
Saturday, 15 July, 2017
Date evidence capture finished 
Monday, 31 October, 2016
Type of report 
Key themes 
Integration of services
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
Structured interview
Unstructured Interview
How was the information collected? 
Visit to provider

Details of health and care services included in the report

Secondary care services 
Sexual health
Social care services 
Children services

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
16-17 years
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
Care / support workers
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? 

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.