The involvement in service users in decision making about healthcare has been a key theme across recent legislation and policy. Young people have a right to be involved in all decisions that affect them, and the right of young people to individual and collective participation is emphasised in a number of key documents.

Your right to be heard healthYour rights to be heard when you are in contact with health services
This guide helps children and young people know their rights to be heard and taken seriously if they are in contact with a doctor or other health professional. This includes dentists, mental health services, seeing a counsellor or staying in hospital.
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Healthy Democracy (2006)
This book is a collaboration between Involve and the NHS Centre for Involvement containing new thinking and analysis from leading thinkers on patient and public involvement in health. It is aimed at a wide audience, including those who are new to the field of health involvement.

Hear by right and Health: how to improve children and young people’s participation in your hospital,
The Hear by Right and Health briefing shows how the Hear by Right standards framework works in a health setting to map evidence of current participation of young service users and to develop arrangements for improvement

Lightfoot and Sloper (2002) Having a say in health: guidelines for involving young patients in health service development
Draws together advice for NHS staff from young patients and staff with experience of Health service development projects

PALS online: PALS - Getting it right for children and young people
This report summarises the findings of recent consultations about PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service) and young people carried out by the National Children's Bureau (NCB).

Putting participation into practice
An overview of participation practice from social care, child mental health, education, youth services and services for children with disabilities. Case studies illustrate ways of involving children and young people in service development and in individual decision making.

You’re welcome quality criteria. Making health service young people friendly
Department of Health (2011). Sets out principles that will help health services become young people friendly.

Are you getting it right? A toolkit for consulting young people on sex and relationships education. This toolkit provides a selection of activities for use in school and non-school settings.

Games for Adolescent Reproductive Health: An international handbook. This manual includes games, ice breakers and other activities on reproductive health that can be adapted to different cultures and contexts.

Involving young people in teenage pregnancy and sexual work: a practical guide. This book contains practical advice and illustrative examples on how to plan, develop and sustain creative opportunities for young people to participate in decision-making.

Youth Participation Guide: Assessment, planning and implementation. This guide  seeks to increase the level of meaningful youth participation in reproductive health and HIV/AIDS programming at an institutional and programme level.

Young People's Charter on Sex and Relationships Education. Charter written by young people on what they want from sex and relationships education.

Getting it right for children and young people: Overcoming cultural barriers in the NHS so as to meet their needs (2010)
Published at the same time as an engagement document, Achieving Equity and Excellence for Children in which the Government sets out a new vision for the health of children and young people.

Policy: participation and health

This page has some polciy links to participation and health.


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Related Resources

How to involve 'hard to reach' children and young people

This how to guide aims to provide an understanding of why some children and young people might not make use of the education, services, organisations…

Your rights to be heard when you are in contact with health services

This guide helps children and young people know their rights to be heard and taken seriously if they are in contact with a doctor or other health prof…

Your rights to be heard when you are in contact with children's services

This guide helps children and young and people know their rights and be taken seriously if a family court is making decisions about them.

How to involve children and young people with communication impairments in decision-making

This How To guide provides information and ideas about how you can enable children and young.

Mystery Shopper (case study)

Mystery Shopper - gave young people the chance to go undercover to assess sexual health services, and to then train up other young mystery shoppers on…

Participation Works is a consortium of…
British Youth CouncilChildren's Rights Alliance for EnglandNational Council for Voluntary Youth ServicesNational Youth AgencyNCB

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