DATA ANALYSIS - Question 3
DEVELOPING HEALTHWATCH FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE
Although the survey did not specifically ask Local Authorities how the transition to LHW would focus on the inclusion of children and young people, several Local Authorities described their approach. This issue is important, not just from the point of view of inclusion and promoting equalities, but because the duties of LHW towards the monitoring of services for children and young people has been enhanced to include the monitoring and influencing of social care services, in addition to health care services.
In Wigan the HealthWatch Development Group is currently managing a local consultation programme that includes a questionnaire-based survey (paper and online) with community organisations, public members of the LINk and young people.
Sunderland City Council has sent a questionnaire to children and young people to provide a chance for them to make comments and suggestions to influence decision-making about the development of LHW. The questionnaire was made available on-line and was also used to facilitate small focus groups to support the collation of information from that age group, and to provide children and young people with a better understanding of the transition from LINks to LHW.
A total of 250 responses were received from the children and young people, including 25 responses from children with disabilities. The Council and representatives from PCT and Children’s Services are now looking at ways to undertake further engagement with patients and the public, including children and young people, as a means of seeking viewpoints from people who are currently under-represented.
Plymouth City Council has established a Commissioner’s Task and Finish Group with representation from Children’s Social Care, and North Yorkshire CC has included representation from the North Yorkshire Youth Council / Young People’s Council on their HealthWatch Reference Group - the body which offers advice and support on the specification for LHW. Extensive consultation has taken place on the LHW model in County Durham, including five children and young people’s Agenda Days involving over 50 young children and youths, whilst in Halton the involvement of children, young people, their parents and carer’s in the development of HW is being explored.