Find out how we helped young people to have their say on the proposals for a Health and Wellbeing Hub in Budleigh Salterton.
In May 2014, the Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (NEW Devon CCG) started a major review of community health and care services.
Those with the strongest opinions on community services tend to be those that have been using the services for some time i.e. community services matter to older people. But young people are important stakeholders too!
What we did
We went to Budleigh Salterton – a place with a very high average age – but we went to seek out the views of young people. Young people can bring fresh ideas and insights and are not held back with traditional assumptions about how services should be delivered.
By going to Budleigh Salterton, we ensured the youth voice was not lost in the debate.
Key findings were that:
- Their top 3 health and care issues were: sexual health, mental health and smoking
- They want frank and open discussions, but health professionals seem inaccessible and unfriendly
- They want better awareness of mental health issues including self-harm
- Young people with special needs often feel excluded from places and activities
Young people have shown that they can make a valuable contribution to the debate about the future of community health and care services. Healthwatch Devon has shown that with clear targeting and fresh tactics, large numbers of young people can be encouraged to have a say.
We now hope to do more of this kind of work with young people affected by changes to community health services in other parts of Devon.