Children and young people aged 11 to 25 living in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, are being encouraged to have a say on their experience of health services, as the local NHS launches its biggest ever engagement with young people.
The Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Integrated Care Board (LLR ICB), working with partners including Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, wants to hear from as many of the 222,000 young people in the area as possible, as well as from families of 11 to 25-year-olds and from staff providing health care services for this age group.
The information collected will help the local NHS understand what is important to children and young people receiving care, their families and the staff who are providing that care. It will also help identify aspects of care which are good and areas where improvements are needed.
Imad Ahmed, Clinical Lead for Children and Young People’s Health for the LLR ICB, said: “Children and young people are experiencing the world very differently from how adults experienced it when they were young. Health care has also changed a lot and so has the way it is provided, with more phone appointments and online services.
“We want to build a picture of the health and wellbeing of children and young people in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, and understand what their needs are right now.
“When it comes to making improvements, we need to plan this together with young people, as they are the experts in terms of how it feels to access services, and we want this engagement to be the start of a much longer conversation. The insight gathered will tell us what is working and what isn’t and provide us with the knowledge of which areas we need to investigate further with young people.
“It’s important to get children and young people’s health right as many lifelong health conditions start early. If we can support young people better, we can hopefully support them to have healthy fulfilling lives.”
Views will be gathered through a survey, which can be completed online or on paper. A wide range of services and community organisations are also involved, having the flexibility to engage with young people in their own unique and creative ways, reaching out to diverse groups to hear what they have to say.
Dr Nil Sanganee, GP and Chief Medical Officer for the LLR ICB, said: “Children and young people do not encounter healthcare alone, and that is why we want to hear from their parents, carers and grandparents, as well as healthcare professionals who work with children.
“One of the potential issues we have already is that, since Covid, there may be difficulties for young people regarding access and online clinical consultations. Young people may be digital experts, but digital isn’t always the best option, as subtle signs such as body language are hard to pick up on when you are not face to face.
“There may also be issues when children reach the age where they need to move into adult services and experiencing that change, where the support they receive maybe less intensive than previously. We want to know how we can make that transition easier, in services for both mental and physical
“We also want to know whether services and organisations are communicating effectively with each other, or do young people find they are having to ‘tell their stories’ and explain themselves over and over again, when referred for care and treatment?
“This is the first time we have reached out to young people in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland in this way and at this large scale, and I really do encourage everyone to come forward, find out what we’re asking and get involved. Have your voice heard and help us to shape young people’s health services for the future.”
The survey is open until Sunday 3 March 2024 and is available online at: bit.ly/youngvoicesonhealth.
People can also:
- Connect via social media: @NHSLLR #WhatYouSaying
Request a paper copy of the questionnaire by calling 0116 295 7572 or emailing: email@example.com