After a year in the planning and organising by the children and young people of the Birmingham Children Hospital (BCH) Young People Advisory Panel, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health Youth Advisory Panel and National Children's Bureau and the fantastic team of professionals from the three organisations on the 16/04/2014 we hosted 'The Big Discussion'. The Big Discussion started as an idea by Ellie Miler who is a member of the RCPCH YAP and was on the board as a governor for BCH. Her friend and her came up with an idea for a youth led event which bought together the movers and shakers within healthcare and children and young people to talk and to truly discuss what matters to young people. That fantastic seed which Ellie planted but was unable to see through flourished into The Big Discussion. This event was meant to have children and young people at the heart and it truly did, as one of the many tweets we got about the day, one healthcare professional commented that it was refreshing to see healthcare professionals being equalled, if not outnumbered by young people. One each of the tables there was at least one young facilitators and other young people who came as guests. The day was professionally recorded and captured by representatives from The Reporters Academy (@TRAcademy), which is a media production company run by young people, which is very in-keeping with the themes of the day (Very much looking to see the finished product soon). The day was structured as a combination of key note speeches as well as four discussion topics, we as the young people came up with and felt were the most important areas in our healthcare that needed discussing. We were lucky and honoured to have Aled Jones, from BBC Radio 1 hosting and facilitating the day alongside the youth chairs (one from each of the key organisations).
The day started off with a welcome from Michelle McLoughlin (Chief Nurse, BCH). She kicked the day off introducing all the key note speakers who would be sharing their insights and be speaking throughout the course of the day. She then handed over to Aled Jones, who took over proceedings with an fantastic flair and energy which lasted all day. He was able to keep the audience entertained, while keeping to time amazingly.
'My Right to the Highest Standard of Health' - RCPCH YAP, PCG and YPHSIG.
The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health hosted their annual conference at the International Convention Centre between 8th - 10th April 2014. I had the pleasure and honour of being invited to speak and attend along with other members of the Youth Advisory Panel (YAP) (Pictured above). We were all delighted to attend as we all believed very strongly in the fact that "No matter how young a child is they have the right to be involved in their treatment". This was one of the key messages we were trying to put out to the audience of paediatricians, researchers, professors and other healthcare professionals and advocates who were present at the conference. Members of the YAP had the utmost honour of opening the very first plenary on Tuesday alongside the College president, Dr Hilary Cass. This was our very first opportunity to get some of our key messages that we wanted to get out during our time at the conference, some of those messages and take away questions that were expertly expressed by our Lisa and Mohini were:
1) Just how good are paediatricians at listening to Children and Young People (CYP)?
2) Encouragement for more collaboration between services, with a particular emphasis being placed on the collaboration between paediatric and adult services during transition.
3) The rights of CYP to be consulted about their treatment, no matter what their age was highlighted.
4) Another key note, was that there was a call put out to have literature that has a focus on how the condition effects us as CYP, "We don't want to know everything" says one of our panel.