Young Healthwatch win an Innovation and Engagement Award.

Another of our Children and Young People projects is award winning and our Young Healthwatch volunteers hosted an East Midlands Masterclass regarding engagement. The East Midlands Academic Health Science Network recognised Young Healthwatch with an Innovation in engagement award for the work of Young Healthwatch (co-commissioned with Future in Mind funding to ensure an independent voice of young people are included in our commissioning processes) and we were asked to present a regional Masterclass to other agencies.

Delegates comprising of commissioners, providers and other health watch agencies from across the region congregated at Stanwick Lakes for a 3 hour masterclass. Kate Holt of Healthwatch opened the proceedings with the key lessons learned from working with Children and Young People including our work on the Youth Conference in 20015 and the work that we have completed ever since. The new children’s lead Ashley Poulton highlighted the work on an Easy Read guide for CYP mental health http://www.healthwatchnorthamptonshire.co.uk/sites/default/files/healthwatch_northamptonshire_understanding_mental_health_easy_read_guide_2016_0.pdf as well as using graphic mapping for capturing the views of all young people and 10 Top Tips for engagement with Children and Young People http://www.healthwatchnorthamptonshire.co.uk/resources/10-top-tips-when-engaging-children-and-young-people

But the real stars were the young people.

Kizzy (the former chair of NCC’s CYP Shadow board and apprentice in the 3rd sector) presented our work on children and young people’s eating disorders with the report being published on the 5th October 2016 http://www.healthwatchnorthamptonshire.co.uk/sites/default/files/eating_disorders_report_final_041016.pdf. Young Healthwatch were the first project to deliver results on our Future in Mind Local Transformation Plan with a workshop 9 days into the programme!  There were over 2000 responses across the county including from children with special educational needs and disabilities as well as from our Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) youth groups http://www.healthwatchnorthamptonshire.co.uk/sites/default/files/lgbtq_report_final_oct_2016.pdf . The findings are being used to shape our training programme across the workforce.

Maddie (Young Healthwatch chair, Talk Out Loud Mental Health Ambassador and college student) gave an overview of Young Healthwatch, the work they do and what it means in terms of really obtaining the voice of young people and getting young people to talk about health issues more.

Darcie (Young Healthwatch Volunteer and Year 8 student) presented her experience of enter and View training, the Nolan principals and her experience of doing an Enter and View assurance trip to the Skylark Children’s Ward at Kettering General Hospital.

Mike (Talk Out Loud Mental Health Ambassador, Bullying Stops Now lead and an SEN year 9 student) present the work relating to the Special Educational Needs Health Review Young Healthwatch undertook http://www.healthwatchnorthamptonshire.co.uk/sites/default/files/send_report_final_020816.pdf  

There was also the debut of a new film about Young Healthwatch which will go on-line next week and shows the methods Young Healthwatch use in action.

The event was closed by David Loyd-Hearn (CCG Commissioning Manager of Children and Young People’s Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Services) who spoke about how important an independent voice is in commissioning of services throughout the entire commissioning cycle. Many of the successes in the Children’s Community Health Transformation Programme and the Future in Mind Local Transformation Programme can be attributed to the co-production with young people and their families. This has meant waiting times reducing by 25% in spite of a 40% increase in demand. 


There were numerous questions and compliments from the audience who were inspired by our approach here in Northamptonshire and the Young People show there is a bright future ahead.

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