International Influence: strengthening local health and care for young people

young healthwatch square

Our work is focused on giving local people a voice in health and care; however, we also like to share when our work gets mentioned internationally…

Young Healthwatch’s (YHW) collaboration with Connecting Care for Children (CC4C) is highlighted as part of the North American Conference of Integrated Care´s ´Virtual Poster Walk’. It describes how our partnership with Imperial College Healthcare´s CC4C has strengthened the health care offer to younger local people living in Westminster and beyond.

At YHW we work to amplify young people’s voices in decision making about health and care in Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea (RBKC). We form a variety of partnerships with healthcare specialists in our community to address the health and wellbeing needs of young people in the area.

During the pandemic we partnered with Connecting Care for Children, a paediatric hospital team that supports an integrated care collaborative.

Alex Weston, YHW Project Lead worked with Phoebe Rutherford, Programme Support for CC4C, based at St Mary’s Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. The focus of Phoebe’s role is building connections with the local community and ensuring that the patient voice is at the heart of the team’s work, which resonates with everything we do.

What we did

During the pandemic we were concerned about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and prolonged school closures on children and young people’s (CYP) physical and mental health. The complex consequences of COVID-19 for CYP needed to be addressed with community engagement.

Together we:

  • Co-produced webinars delivering health information and support for local CYP
  • Shared findings from the YHW mental health survey with health commissioners
  • Hosted a local community radio show
  • Co-produced health and wellbeing literature

Impact

  • This partnership provided professional healthcare and peer-to-peer support for local young people
  • Offered local young people the chance to co-produce projects and resources based upon local need
  • It championed a ‘joined up’ approach and shaped plans for health provision as part of COVID-19 recovery and continues to influence design and delivery of regional health care.

Cate Latto, from One Community Radio said “Huge thank you, you guys were just amazing. It is a tough and desolate landscape sometimes for the young and now is perhaps tougher than ever but they are also resilient, courageous and innovative.”

Young people who attended the webinar said:

“It was structured well and wasn’t too long”

“Good range of people on the panel”

“The hosts did a really good job”

Find out more about Young Healthwatch Westminster

Download the poster