Young people are now involved in interviewing prospective staff members at the specialist child and adolescent mental health service, run by Cwm Taf University Health Board.
Ty Llidiard in Bridgend provides mental health treatment in a hospital setting for children and young people with serious mental illness.
Head of nursing Julie Cude said the initiative was introduced to ensure children felt involved in their care and that staff with the right skills and attitudes were recruited.
“We care for young people who often need to stay in for a significant period of time and it’s vital for their long-term recovery that they have staff they feel comfortable with and can trust,” she said.
“Having young people on the interview panels for new staff has been a great success and they have made some very good decisions in who to appoint,” she said.
“For them, what’s important in a nurse is someone they can talk to and who they feel they can relate to,” she added.
Patients have also started nominating a “nurse of the week award”, which involves young people choosing a nurse on a weekly basis who they feel has “gone above and beyond” their role.
The initiative has had a positive impact on nursing moral, and enhanced the therapeutic relationship between the nursing team and the young people they care for, said Ms Cude.
Ty Llidiard is a Tier 4 (highly specialist) service for young people with severe mental illness and treats young people with severe complex and diverse needs which cannot be met by community services.