Children’s voices in health care planning



The views of children and young people have largely been devalued as a resource for improving health care practice and developing more effective and appropriate services. However, both within the health and welfare services and in the social sciences literature, there is increasing awareness of the role that children could play in public life and in informing the ways in which services for them are provided. This chapter describes a research project, funded by a local health authority, in which children and young people were interviewed about their views of local health services. Although the research was limited by time constraints, it provided rich data about their encounters with health care professionals, their experiences of the treatment process, their concerns with consultation and treatment settings and their perceptions of the different roles that providers play. Their insights provided valuable evidence to support the view that children and young people ought to be regarded as social actors with knowledge and expertise on their own health. We conclude that, as individuals, they should be involved in any decisions about their own treatment, and that as a social group they should be involved in informing the planning and development of local health and welfare services.


Young People Welfare Service Public Health Research Local Health Authority Family Planning Clinic 
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