There are over 15 million young people in England, making up 25% of the population. Of these, 14% have a long-standing illness (Children and Young People’s Health Outcomes Forum report, 2015).
The NHS is increasingly embracing patient engagement and we must make every effort to make sure that children and young people are not left out. Young people need to be involved at all levels of our healthcare system, from shaping the care they are receiving at the front line right up to co-designing and inputting to strategic change.
This means that the NHS needs to think differently about working in partnership with young people. All too often we expect young people to get involved on our terms, but traditional engagement approaches don’t work for young people. Moving away from jargon-filled documents and meetings during school hours to more creative approaches can help us involved young people more effectively.
Why do we need a forum?
We asked young people what they thought of the idea of a forum and what topics it should cover. More than 180 surveys were completed by young people. That vital information helped us shape the forum.
The purpose of the Youth Forum is to:
- Listen to young people’s experiences and ideas for healthcare improvement
- Work with a diverse range of young people who can bring their perspectives and experiences of healthcare services
- Seek advice from young people about national programmes of work in the NHS
How to register your interest
What's in it for you?
- Virtual forum
- Being a member of youth forum steering group
- Shadowing in some areas
- Interviewing for staff (you will get training) in some areas
- Invites to events
- Helping out at events, such as our Annual Members Meeting
- Youth proofing information
- Hospital inspections (for those 18 or over)
- Attending relevant working groups or committees
Who can get involved?
Who’s involved in the forum?
6 NHS organisations and Healthwatch Kent have started the forum. We have an agreement to all work together and the steering group will meet quarterly.
Meet the team