Future Voices: Having a say in how our health systems run

Future Voices. Healthwatch.

Future Voices. Healthwatch. - Credit: Archant

First of all, you may be asking yourself what Healthwatch is, or how it's relevant to young people, or perhaps just how you the individual can get involved.

Well as this edition of Future Voices is themed on Healthwatch, I decided to meet up with a member of the HW team to answer the above, and also find out a bit more about what they do.

Q: First of all, what is Healthwatch?

A: Healthwatch Norfolk was created to be the voice for patients, service users and the public of all ages, with the aim of helping them influence the way that health and social care services are planned and delivered in the area.

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Q: When was Healthwatch created?

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A: Healthwatch was set up in Norfolk in April 2013, although there are several up and down the country.

Q: In what way does Healthwatch impact health and social care services?

A: Healthwatch works by feeding back the public's comments to those who commission these services and make recommendations (based on what people tell us) to health and social care service providers.

Q: Why is it important that young people get involved with Healthwatch?

A: We believe that in order to make services relevant, efficient and accessible – to improve overall outcomes - it's important to find out directly from young people what works and what doesn't, as you are the ones using the services.

Q: How can young people get involved?

A: There are a few ways to get involved:

We would like to represent the voice of all young people and influence the health and social services you use.

We would like to understand how it is best to consult with you so that as many young people as possible can have their say.

We will also be recruiting young Healthwatch volunteers (or 'champions') in the coming months, who will support Healthwatch at public events, to help further engage with the public and represent the voice of young people – in order to make a difference.

Please e-mail enquiries@healthwatchnorfolk.co.uk if you would like to have your say or be involved.

Tallulah Self, 16, Taverham

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