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Pack helps children shape services

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The National Children’s Bureau (NCB) is launching a new resource to help Healthwatch organisations harness the experiences of young users of the health and social care systems.

Bringing Children And Young People To The Heart Of Healthwatch presents the lessons learned from a three-year project which worked with 75 Healthwatch Pathfinders and its predecessors to find effective ways of involving children and young people in local health and social care services.

Dr Hilary Emery, chief executive of the National Children’s Bureau, said: “By listening to children and young people we can improve health and social care services for them, but all too often there is a failure to provide an engaging and relevant way for them to give their views. Through working with children and young people this resource has been developed to provide local Healthwatch bodies with inspirational ideas and practical suggestions on effective communication and working together.

“We hope it will encourage these new patient involvement bodies to listen to and respond creatively to the needs of their local children and young people.”

The resource presents creative ways to engage with children and young people and effective ways of getting their views, such as making meetings more interactive than the traditional table-bound gatherings and using a variety of communication tools from social media to face-to-face chats. Local Healthwatch bodies will find a range of tips for making their work fresh and appealing, encouraging children and young people to give their time.

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