Essex teens to speak out over health and care

16:47 24 July 2014

Hundreds of Essex teenagers will have the opportunity to speak out about what matters to them as part of a new project running this summer.

Patient voice organisation Healthwatch Essex and youth charity Essex Boys and Girls Clubs will be asking youngsters about health and care.

The experiences they share will be fed back to the local NHS and social care authorities to improve services for young people.

The project has been incorporated into the National Citizen Service (NCS) program, open to 16-17 year olds, that builds important skills for work and life, delivered in south Essex by Essex Boys and Girls Clubs.

Healthwatch Essex will hold sessions with the young people to find out what their experiences are of the NHS, but also other services such as stop smoking services. They will also be encouraging the teenagers to speak out about experiences they’ve had of social care, such as support services for people with learning disabilities or mental health problems.

Dr Tom Nutt, chief executive of Healthwatch Essex, said: “Today’s young people are current and future patients, service users and health professionals. Their voice should be heard when key decisions are being made about health and care.”

Martin Solder, director of Essex Boys & Girls Clubs, added: “NCS provides young people with the confidence, skills and experiences to make a real difference in their communities.

“We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Healthwatch Essex on this important project, which provides teens with a chance to have their say about local services.”

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