Changes to NHS landscape devalue young people’s participation - YoungMinds

A survey conducted by the children and young people’s mental health charity YoungMinds of all local government health scrutiny chairs in England has revealed a worrying trend for children and young people’s participation in the new NHS landscape.

YoungMinds survey revealed that 80% of health scrutiny chairs had not had outlined to them how children and young people could get involved in shaping local services through local HealthWatch or Health and Wellbeing Boards.

Analysis of the Department of Health website also reveals that only 5 out of 75 local HealthWatch Pathfinders mention children and young people’s involvement in the synopses of their work.

Sarah Brennan Chief Executive, YoungMinds said:
“While changes to the NHS at local level are still in the early stages of development the lack of children and young people’s participation is a worrying sign.

“We welcome local Health & Wellbeing Boards and HealthWatch setting their own agenda’s however there is a danger that children and young people will again miss out if their involvement is not prioritized.

 “Children and young people need to be involved from the outset otherwise it will be much harder to introduce their participation when structures are already created.

“While the Department of Health is not keen to interfere locally it is becoming clear that a strong steer may need to be given from the centre so that patient involvement in the new NHS landscape does not become an adults only arena.”


Notes to editors:

  1. For further information and to arrange interviews please contact Chris Leaman on 020 7089 5066 or 07813 810114 email
  2. A list of local HealthWatch Pathfinders is available on the Department of Health’s website
  3. The results of YoungMinds survey are attached

YoungMinds Parents helpline: 0808 802 5544

Keep up to date with YoungMinds. Follow us on Twitter
and make friends with us on Facebook

020 7089 5066 or


About Us

YoungMinds is the UK's leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people and empowering their parents and carers. The YoungMinds Newsroom offers information and resources for media professionals about YoungMinds, on CAMHS policy, statistics and research on issues relating to the emotional wellbeing of young people. We can provide you with facts about children and young people's mental health and wellbeing, expert spokespeople, young campaigners and policy briefings and statistics.