Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Change Your Mind About Young People - NHS Expo 2014


Changemakers is a leadership development charity aimed at young people which equips young people to be leaders in their own right, built on a foundation of the Changemakers values of: savvy,  brave, maverick, loving and authentic. Funded by the department of health, the latest cohort in the northeast are using their leadership skills to enable more young people to have a voice in health care, working with twenty GP practices in particular. The modelnof leadership puts the Changemaker directly into the GP practice to feed in the information and feedback collected through surveys and focus groups from young people.

This is where the change begins. 

Initial findings show that young people dont want anything earth shattering done to their GP practice, the necessary changes are relatively small compared tothe huge positive change it could have on the ease of the young person accessing care. We've found that young people are unsure about their confidentiality rights; they would like to be spoken to in language that they understand and be supported with knowing how to actually access appointments. Young people we have spoken to hqve informed us that they are having difficulty being referred to other services and  are not being directed to alternate voluntary services; waiting rooms are bland and most importantly the young people don't know how to give this feedback

What are we doing about these problems?

Educating young people in focus groups on their confidentiality rights so that they can inform other young people by means of posters and leaflets using appropriate language. Some practices are sending out letters to young people and their parents/guardians on their 14th birthdays to let them know that they can make an appointment without their parents/guardians present. 

Delivering training designed by young people to staff at GP practices to inform them what young people want out of their services and the best way to deliver this care paying particular attention to the language used. 

Some GP practices are devising a young person's newsletter and page on their website in order to communicate better with young people, particularly to provide advice on how to access appointments and when to see a doctor or nurse.

Changemakers are working with staff and young people to map out local services that can be used as signposts whilst people may be on waiting list or perhaps to a more appropriate service to meet their needs. 

What to do in the waiting room...some practices are looking into the possibility of getting Wi-Fi in their waiting rooms. We are also utilising focus groups to devise posters and leaflets targeted at young people.

This isn't all doom and gloom though, not only do people not know how to complain but neither do they know how to compliment services. We are going to make these more visible in practices. 

I got involved with the Changemakers program to give young people a voice in healthcare and im proud to have achieved and hope that I leave an impact so thatyoung people in the future will have positive health care experiences and feel comfortable accessing their GP practices.

Looking for young people to fill in our survey here with a chance to win £20 retail voucher!


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