Students make voice heard on health services
As part of their coursework Y13 Health & Social Care students, from Tupton Hall as well as Lady Manners School, gave 10 minute presentations at a meeting organised by NHS North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which plans and buys healthcare for more than 288,000 patients.
The students highlighted what the NHS should keep doing at all costs, and what it’s like for young people to use health services. The students said that the NHS should remain free at the point of need, and they felt it was quite easy to get an appointment with GPs. However, they called on the NHS to become more “teen aware”, pointing out that health professionals sometimes talked down to young people and addressed their comments to accompanying parents rather than to the youngsters themselves.
The sixth formers also said how they would like to be involved in planning health services for the future. The youngsters then stayed on for the rest of the three-hour meeting. The event was timed to coincide with a national Take Over Day organised by the Children’s Commissioner for England to give young people a loud voice in shaping public services and community life. The NHS and local councils are staging scores of events nationwide. The CCG invited schools across North Derbyshire to have their say as part of its Call to Action consultation involving the public in agreeing health priorities for years to come.
Dr Ben Milton, Chair of NHS North Derbyshire CCG, said “It’s fantastic that the students from Lady Manners and Tupton Hall wanted to share their views with us, especially on a day when the Tupton Hall students would have otherwise been at home because it coincides with staff training. “We want these presentations to be the start of a long-term relationship that enables us to understand what young people want and gives students chances to further develop important life skills such as communicating effectively in formal settings. “To thank the schools for their support, we’re sending staff to forthcoming careers evenings.”
The NHS Call to Action is taking place nationally in recognition of the fact that the country has changed massively since universal health services free at the point of delivery started in 1948. People are living longer with increasingly complex health needs, and have higher expectations of the NHS because of advances in treatment and technology. At the same time, NHS funding is struggling to keep pace with inflation.
Dr Milton added: “Doing nothing is not an option. The NHS cannot meet future challenges without learning to work more efficiently in a way that also satisfies public expectations. “To ensure we target limited resources at the things that matter most, we need to know what the public wants from us – and that’s where our young people come in.”
Tupton Hall sixth form tutor Donna Slater said “The students participating in this event are future Health and Social Care Practitioners. Taking part in this consultation was extremely valuable to them as discussing issues of future planning and provision of services will help them to develop a broad overview of how the needs of local service users are met.”