Richard leads the way in helping clinical leaders learn from young peopleMaking sure children and young people’s views about health services are heard loud and clear by Bradford clinical commissioners is the goal of a local 19-year-old.
At its governing body meeting on Wednesday (14 May) NHS Bradford City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) will hear from Richard Cullen about the importance of engaging with young people and taking their views into account when making decisions about health services.
Richard, a sabbatical officer and student at the University of Bradford, is keen to work with the CCG to strengthen the voice of young people and will be one of the CCG’s new youth health champions as it takes this work forward.
Bradford City CCG is committed to listening to young people’s ideas and experiences to help it plan future services around the needs of different communities. This is especially important for the CCG as its area serves a population where one in three people is under 19, and where there are diverse and complex health needs.
Richard has been part of the National Youth Advisory Board for St John Ambulance and is vice-chair of the Trustee Board of the charity UK Youth. He is passionate about championing Bradford and determined to make young people’s voices heard.
“Engaging with young people is vital in today’s society – they have so much to offer and provide a different perspective on matters,” said Richard. “They like to be involved and are determined to make projects work to provide a better future for themselves and others.
“Young people are now more connected than ever – through social media, text or video chats they are constantly in touch with each other. If we can engage them at an early age around health issues, they will spread the word among their groups.”
Max Mclean, lay member for patient and public involvement at Bradford City CCG, said: “The more we involve and engage with young people, the more we can learn from their real-life experiences of using local services and tap into their ideas for making health services more accessible and effective.
“I’m delighted to have Richard on board as one of our new health champions. His enthusiasm for getting young people interested in health by showing how they can influence the decisions we make is great and I’m sure is the start of some really positive work to come.”
Over recent months the CCG has opened up several different routes for young people’s voices to be heard. Some of this work includes:
• involving a group of young people from Barnardo’s in influencing how NHS money will be spent to drive up quality and innovation in local mental health services
• working with Healthwatch Bradford and District and Barnardo’s to pilot a project which will look at best practice in engaging with children, young people, their parents and carers to develop GP champions and improve local services
• funding several projects to support and maintain the wellbeing of vulnerable young people
• working with our partners to develop a young person’s network and holding a youth summit over the summer to make sure that systems are in place to capture the views of young people from all communities.
Bradford City CCG’s governing body is holding its meeting in public at the Park Lane Centre, Park Lane, Bradford BD5 0LN on Wednesday 14 May at 5.30pm. The agenda and associated papers are available on the CCG website www.bradfordcityccg.nhs.uk/
If you would like to tell the CCG about your experiences please contact: email@example.com Local people can also become members of their practice patient participation group or get in touch with Healthwatch Bradford and District at www.healthwatchbradford.co.uk