The debate on health and care services in Devon tends to focus on the County’s ageing population.  But Healthwatch Devon is keen to ensure that experiences and needs of young people are taken just as seriously – not least because early help for young people can have lifelong benefits.

A year ago, HWD published a report on young people’s views on health and care services in Devon. They told us that their main health issues were mental health (including depression/anxiety, self-harm and eating disorders), smoking, drugs and alcohol, and sexual health and pregnancy.

To ensure that young people’s views continue to be heard, HWD undertook a survey to find out whether those views had changed in the last year.

What HWD did

HWD spoke to young people across Devon asking them what health issues matter to them, how they think health services could be improved, and how active they are.

HWD findings

427 young people took part in our survey.

The top 3 healthcare issues that respondents indicated were most important to them include: depression and anxiety, sexual health and self-harm.

Key areas for improvement identified from the feedback provided include: better access to healthcare services, attitudes of healthcare staff, access to information and better access to support for children and young people.

The top 3 reasons that prevent respondents from being physically active include: education/work commitments, a lack of motivation and a physical health issue.

The report generated big interest on the local and national level through social MEDIA SHARE (Twitter).

It was also picked up by Kath Evans who is Experience of Care Lead @NHSEngland Children's Nurse, ILM Coach, @ACCNUK Member, Health Care Ambassador for @savechildrenuk  ( pictures of some of her tweets attached)

Read the full report here: