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'Friendly health services' promised for Wirral youngsters
YOUNG people in Wirral are being promised friendly, welcoming health services that are accessible and shaped around their needs.
NHS Wirral is making a commitment that local health services will be 'young people friendly' and places where young people will be treated with respect; listened to; won’t be judged; and will receive a confidential service.
The scheme, launched at Ridgeway High school in Prenton, aims to break down the barriers young people, particularly those aged 11 to 19, face in accessing health services in their area.
Fiona Johnstone, director of public health for Wirral, said: "The teenage years are a crucial time for encouraging people to adopt positive health behaviour; yet, we know from research that many young people feel there are barriers preventing them from accessing services and so don't.
"The young people friendly scheme encourages health service providers across Wirral to meet national criteria to make sure they offer accessible services that welcome and support young people."
To help ensure the scheme and health services meet the needs of local young people, NHS Wirral carried out focus groups within schools where young people were asked to identify any barriers they feel exist between them and health services.
They were also involved in producing publicity materials for the scheme.
A number of Wirral health service settings and teams are already officially 'young people friendly'.
These can be easily identified by the use of the young people friendly logo.
Health service providers wanting to achieve accreditation need to demonstrate that they meet criteria outlined by the Department of Health under the 'You're Welcome' initiative.
This includes having appropriate policies in place around access, publicity, confidentiality and consent, as well as offering a welcoming environment and fully trained staff with the skills, attitude and values to support young people.
To find out more, including a full list of young people friendly services and information on how to self-assess against the criteria, visit www.wirral.nhs.uk/ypf. Alternatively, call the young people friendly team on 0151 630 8383 or 0151 514 2214.