Children and young people (CYP) represent a third of our country and their wellbeing will determine our future. Improving their health and wellbeing is a key priority for NHS England and NHS Improvement.
The NHS Long Term Plan sets out a vision for the future of the NHS and new action in relation to children and young people aged 0-25. To deliver these, a Children and Young People Transformation programme was established, bringing together key partners and programmes responsible for the delivery of our Long Term Plan commitments.
The work of the Children and Young People Transformation programme is supported by the leadership of our National Clinical Director for Children and Young People, Professor Simon Kenny, and our National Specialty Advisors for Children and Young People, Matthew Clark and Michelle McLoughlin. Our work is overseen by a Children and Young People Transformation Programme Board which brings together partners across health, care and education. Chaired by Sarah-Jane Marsh, its membership includes four youth members and two expert youth advisors, alumni of the NHS Youth Forum, who ensure the voices of children and young people are represented in our shared decision making.
The programme focuses on a wide range of priorities in relation to children and young people, from improving care for children with special educational needs, supporting integration and development of new models of care, improving mental health services, to improving transition to adult services. Our children and young people programmes include:
- Mental health
- Learning disability and autism
- Special educational needs and disability
- Children’s health data and digital strategy
- Oral health
- End of life and palliative care
- Specialised commissioning
- Health and justice
We’re pleased to have the support of our four youth members and two expert youth advisors who each have a strong record of youth advocacy and leadership:
Youth board members
Paramedic and special police constable Mike Jones has a particular interest in mental health crisis care for children and young people, health and justice services and how services provide support for 16-25 year-olds.
Bridget Bould is a volunteer with different youth groups and charities and uses her lived experience to advocate for better understanding and support for children and young people living with chronic illnesses and disabilities.
Medical student Samya Sarfaraz wants to see more effective partnerships across different sectors in providing support to vulnerable young people during their transition to adult services, and through a wellbeing approach to mental health.
IT student Christopher Barton has a keen interest in better models of care during transition as well as improving how different health services work together to support and communicate with children and young people.
Youth expert advisors
Gabrielle Matthews is the youngest member of the NHS Assembly and is a Diana Award recipient. As a medical student and long-term patient, she is a keen advocate for the voices of children and young people and all communities in strategic decision making and policy.
Brad Gudger has extensive experience of NHS services, having been diagnosed with leukaemia in 2013, and relapsing in 2017. He is passionate about youth leadership, combating loneliness and isolation in vulnerable communities and championing LGBTQ+ rights. He is a Diana Award recipient and a young leader for the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust.