Young people in South Tyneside are being sought to work with a patient champion on a project which aims to improve local healthcare services. 

Healthwatch South Tyneside is launching the new initiative ‘Young Healthwatch’ to find out the views of young people in the borough on health and social care services.

It is seeking 16 to 25-year-olds to join a group which will help Healthwatch connect with other young people and find out the key concerns they have about services such as GP surgeries, sexual health clinics, mental health support and adult social care.

The group will meet regularly and help Healthwatch staff design and carry out promotional activities to engage other young people and encourage them to talk about their own experiences – both good and bad.

These could include carrying out surveys, holding events, running social media campaigns, acting as mystery shoppers, creating videos and writing press releases.

Feedback will be shared with decision makers from the NHS and local authority organisations who run local health and social care services to highlight both good practice and issues raised – to hopefully influence positive changes which will benefit young people.

Sue Taylor, Chair of Healthwatch South Tyneside, said: “Young Healthwatch volunteers will be our eyes and ears – advising us how to engage with young people and finding out what they need from health and social care providers.

“They will gain valuable experience of the health and social care and voluntary sectors and learn new skills in marketing and event management which will aid their CV or university application, and we will provide a reference for them.

“Young volunteers from other Healthwatches across the country have gone on to careers in health and care, such as the graduate training programme for adult social care, nursing degrees, dental hygienists, care assistants, and research and policy work. So there are lots of potential benefits for those taking part.”

For more information on Young Healthwatch:
visit healthwatchsouthtyneside.co.uk/young-healthwatch
text 07525 595700
email t.johnson@healthwatchsouthtyneside.co.uk
message via facebook.com/HWSouthTyneside