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Your local area

Making things better where you live

Have your say when the NHS makes decisions about care in your local area.

Rebecca's story

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This is where I’m from. I care about my friends, my family. I also care about the NHS. Everyone uses the NHS, which is why I think it’s important that young people do speak up and make sure that their voices are heard. Unless you take the steps to ensure that your rights are being met, they’re going to sweep them under the rug.

I’m using the services locally so I know how bad or good it is. We know that our young people’s services aren’t great. I got in touch with Healthwatch through my youth worker and my local Youth Cabinet. We got together a list of all the problems that had happened and we sent that through the formal complaints process. We completely hammer them about everything that goes wrong. Any time there is an issue now, it goes straight to the Assistant Director of the Foundation Trust and it does get dealt with! They weren’t expecting especially a young person to be so outspoken and very passionate about ensuring that their rights are met. I don’t think that many young people know that they can have an impact. I became Rotherham's first Healthwatch Ambassador. I’m very passionate about young people having rights and knowing that they are important, that they can have a say about the treatment that they are getting.

Young people need to have more power, we need to stand up and be like, we want to see actions, not just words. Because young people are important, because we are the future at the end of the day.

What do NHS staff say?

"Services being accessible and acceptable to young people is a real issue"

Dr Duncan Law
Consultant Clinical Psychologist

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We know that services being accessible and acceptable to young people is a real issue. So if we want services to be really accessible and acceptable to young people, the best people to ask are young people. So young people who have both had involvement in services in the past because they can say what worked well and, more importantly, what didn't. But also we really need to hear from young people who aren't coming to services, so we can hear about how we can shape services to be more accessible to them. We want to know what are the barriers that stop them coming to services so we can break down those barriers and make them more accessible.

Children in care

As well as joining your local health groups, you can join your local Children In Care Council. If you have any problems with the NHS in your area then this group can work with health services to make sure they understand the needs of children and young people in care.

What about my parents and carers?

If you want to take part in local decisions, the NHS should make sure you can. You should be able to join local groups with other children and young people. If you do not want to join a group yourself, your mum, dad or carers can. They can share your experiences with the group.

You can find out about you local healthwatch here