Healthwatch Enfield, working with a group of 6 volunteers aged 16-25, explored the experiences of young people's use of health and social care services in Enfield and to understand where they think there is most need for improvements and information.
From December 2019 to February 2020, our Young Healthwatch Enfield team developed and promoted a survey, and received 151 responses.
3 in every 4 young people (75%) told us they haven ever had the opportunity to feedback on their experience of health and social services.
Over half the young people (56%) explained they felt listened to by health and social care professionals,but that they felt physical symptoms were 'taken more seriously' than other health problems such as mental health difficulties.
The top three services young people think are most in need of improvement:
- Mental health: almost 3 in every 4 young people felt mental health services were most in need of improvement (73%)
- Accident and Emergency: over 1 in every 3 young people felt Accident &Emergency services were most in need of improvement (39%)
- Hospital services: just under 1 in every 3 young people felt that hospitals were most in need of improvement (30%)
The top three health and social care topics young people want more information on:
- Mental health and wellbeing: over 2 in every 3 young people want more information on mental health and wellbeing (67%)
- Sexual health: almost 1 in every 2 young people want more information on sexual health (47%)
- How to register with a GP: 42% of young people want more information about how to register with a GP when leaving home/going to university
83% of young people said they want more information on the health and social care services they can access and their rights on using these services.
The top three ways young people want to get this information:
- Schools: over 1 in every 2 young people want to access this information via their school (52%)
- Internet: 41%want to access this information themselves via the internet
- Social media: over 2 in every 3 young people want to access this information via social media(38%)
2 in every 3 young people told us that they were aware of educational/welfare/pastoral services that are available in their school (64%) but only 3% said that they currently use these services.
- Further research is needed to better understand what improvements young people want to see in hospitals, A&E and mental health services
- Improvements need to be made regarding information and signposting to services that already exist
- More research is needed to better understand the discrepancy between the awareness of pastoral support services available to young people in schools, the current low use of these services and the desire for young people to access information from schools.
Healthwatch will be exploring how to increase involvement of Enfield's young people and ensure we provide information that is accessible and adapted to a young audience. We also encourage all service providers to ensure that the voices of young people are heard, listened to and acted upon.