Trust and Barnardo's highlighted for efforts to involve young people in their care

Monday, 21 March 2016

A successful partnership between North Bristol NHS Trust and Barnardo’s has been highlighted by NHS Employers.

The charity has supported the Trust in running the Community Children’s Health Partnership (CCHP) since April 2009, helping to promote the views and experiences of the young people who use the service.

Children and young people up to the age of 18 attend CCHP services, which include specialist community and inpatient mental health services, health visiting and school health nursing.

Barnardo’s has supported these services through its Helping Young People Engage (HYPE) initiative, which has involved working with young service users to help recruit new members of staff and to develop resources. Young people have worked on making films to help other service users understand the services they will attend.

NHS Employers approached the Barnardo’s HYPE service to help them create NHS guidelines for involving young people in staff recruitment and has featured the partnership between North Bristol NHS Trust and Barnardo’s as a case study on its website highlighting its work with young people in recruiting new staff.

One example highlighted in the case study, was the use of a cake decorating activity involving candidates and young people in order to recruiting to the Learning Disability Specialist Service. A young people’s panel would have been too daunting  for the service users, while an activity they were interested in gave the opportunity for them to focus on the candidates’ skills and how they made them feel. 

Barnardo’s Children’s Services Manager, Emily Roberts, said: “Barnardo’s HYPE service was delighted to be approached by NHS Employers to support the creation of guidelines for the National Health Service on Involving children and young people in the recruitment of staff.

“Since 2009 Barnardo’s partnership with North Bristol Trust’s Community children’s health services has involved over 200 young people in over 300 interviews.

“The wealth of experience of staff and young people was gathered in focus groups by NHS Employers when they visited us in September 2015 and from this visit one of our examples became a case study showing an innovative recruitment style for young people with learning difficulties.

“We are proud of the way young people are valued and listened to in the partnership recruitment processes and are really pleased to be part of sharing this practice across the country.”

Maria Hennessy, Community Children’s Health Partnership Head of Nursing and Clinical Governance , said: “We are really proud of the work that has been achieved through our partnership with Barnardo’s and feel it has had a positive impact on the services that we have offered young people in the area.

“It has been important for children and parents to be involved in the recruitment process for staff and we are proud that this work has been highlighted by NHS Employers.”

The Community Children's Health Partnership was praised in the report following the Care Quality Commission inspection of the Trust, published last February, when it was rated as outstanding and was described as an “example of outstanding service nationally”. The HYPE service was also highlighted, with praise for ensuring young people’s voices are heard.