NHS Youth Forum calls for action

“Hear our voice and act on what we say” was the call today from the NHS Youth Forum.

They told the Health and Care Innovation Expo 2015 in Manchester they want to do all they could to help the NHS make services better.

Discussing the successes and challenges of services for children and young people (CYP) they gave their views, some via a special film and some in person on stage.

Making their plea to NHS professionals during a debate on ‘Does the NHS meet the needs of CYP?’ the young people applauded the changes happening in services, called for more than a ‘token approach’ and pledged to do all they could to help.

Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer for England, said she had spent the last week as a nurse volunteering with CYP with serious illnesses.

She said: “I was watching and learning what was important to them. The big message was treat us like individuals and allow us to take control of our own illness and be the best we can be. Overwhelmingly – listen to what we say.”

The audience heard that 1.2million under 18s are affected by a mental health disorder. Also the number of CYP going to A&E is going up but the number admitted is only 11 per cent. It was said that more needed to be done to strengthen the services for them in the community and in primary care.

Dr Jackie Cornish, National Clinical Director for Children, Young People and Transition to Adulthood, explained how a lot of work was going into focusing on services for CYP.

She said: “We have new funding now to support eating disorders and we’re putting in access and waiting times – we’ve never had that before.”

She said there was more still to be done but added: “I think we’ve moved some distance, I’ve spent 35 years in a service that I love and I’m passionate about trying to make a difference and the big reason is to hear and listen to what people say and respond to what they say.

“We’ve been doing it for years but we need to do more of it.”