Following on from my last post, this is an update on the workshop I chaired yesterday at Kings College London. The workshop was attended by 110 adults and young people who, inspired by some fantastic presentations, engaged with great enthusiasm in discussions and debates on the topic of ’embedding children and young people’s participation in health and social care services’. The workshop provided the opportunity for everyone to reflect on the challenges and opportunities for children and young people’s participation in health and social care services, as well providing practical examples from children and young people and organisations working with them.
Here’s a summary of what was covered by the presenters:
We opened with a keynote presentation from Dr Maggie Atkinson, Children’s Commissioner for England.
Maggie got us off to an inspiring start with a presentation on ‘Living up to our promises on children’s rights’ by reminding us about the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and in particular what the UN Committee had to say in their recent General Comment on Article 24 ‘the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health’. She also talked about what the NHS and Department of Health has said and done so far in relation to children and young people’s participation, particularly with regards to the Children and Young People’s Health Outcome Forum report and the opportunities provided by the government’s pledge in response (including putting the pledge in language accessible to young people). She referred to the OCC report “We Would Like to Make A Change” which is about the patchy and uneven involvement of children and young people in decision-making and health service design, delivery, evaluation and improvement. She reminded us that real participation is about the giving away of power, and urged commissioners to challenge services to demonstrate how they are involving children and young people in the design and delivery of services. She closed by suggested that we needed to move on from conversations about the importance of hearing children’s voices, and start talking about how to make it happen. Which we duly did!
We then heard from Amanda Allard, Principal Officer at the Council for Disabled Children on ‘Embedding children’s voices within the new NHS’ :
Following group discussions and lunch, we reconvened for a series of short presentations giving practical examples of children and young people’s participation.
We started off with a presentation from Investing in Children on ‘Young on people’s reflections on being involved in the planning and delivery of their health services’:
This was followed by the Association for Young People’s Health talking about ‘Be Healthy – A participation project exploring the health needs of young people affected by sexual exploitation’. More information on the project, including the fantastic video shown as part of their presentation can be found at: http://www.ayph-behealthy.org.uk/.
The next presentation was from Young Minds on: ‘Very important
journey: an overview of the Young Minds Very Important Kids (VIK) Project’:
The VIK Legacy book mentioned during the presentation is available here: http://www.youngminds.org.uk/assets/0000/6962/VIK_Legacy_BooK.pdf
We then heard from Emily Roberts, from Barnardo’s, who talked about the work they’re doing with North Bristol NHS Trust on the Community Children’s Health Partnership.
Our final presentation of the day was from East & North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, and some of the young people who have worked with them, on ‘Engaging young people in an acute hospital’:
Following more discussions, questions and some very interesting issues being raised (of which more when the day is written up), we all went home with our heads buzzing with ideas – or at least I did!
Thanks so much to everyone who helped to make the day a success – including all the presenters and participants, KCL for providing the venue, Janet Noble an James Blewett at KCL/Making Research Count and UWE for publicity and organising bookings.