OYC Meeting Minutes – 01/11/2023
NHS (KAREN, LESLIE, NEIL AND TAMOOR)
We initiated our discussion with a group of dedicated individuals: Karen, a retired GP; Leslie, a current nurse; Neil, and Tamoor, a manager at HealthWatch Oldham, all of whom are associated with the Oldham Central Primary Care Network. Neil plays a crucial role in aiding with development and training, seeking to gain a deeper understanding of the healthcare needs of Oldham residents. Leslie brings a nurse’s perspective to the table, while Tamoor focuses on the patient voice, conducting surveys, promoting awareness, and addressing any system-related issues.
Together, these four individuals form an integral part of the Oldham Central Primary Care Network, specifically covering the Oldham Central zone. During our meeting, Karen inquired about their recent experiences with GPs and whether anyone had engaged with the youth council regarding healthcare services. While most experiences with GPs were reported as negative, there were a few positive ones.
The youth council has already participated in various health-related discussions, such as Beeheard (facilitated by YouthFocus North West), which focuses on mental health and involves NHS practitioners. Discussions have also emerged in previous meetings, like the one in April 2023 regarding planned hospital care services (you can find more details at https://oldhamyc.com/blog/2023/04/05/oyc-meeting-minutes-05-04-2023/).
Karen also emphasized the absence of a current youth experience board, which was the reason for their presence at the meeting. Tamoor mentioned that they have a survey ready aimed towards young people, although it has not yet been published, and they would like to seek feedback from the youth council. Mental health and healthcare services in Oldham have already been considered in the survey’s development.
Another topic of discussion was the discomfort some young people feel in GP surgeries when parents, relatives, or carers are present during appointments and are aware of the issues the young person is facing. Karen suggested that young people can always request their GP to ask parents to step outside and that young people have the right to access their own medical records independently from their parents or carers from the age of 13. However, in severe cases involving a serious danger or loss of life, disclosure to a parent or carer may be necessary.
We also discussed the importance of providing young people with information about their rights and dispelling myths. For example, confidentiality can be requested as early as the age of 13, contrary to the belief that it begins at age 16. Many youth councillors expressed concerns about schools, which claim to maintain confidentiality but often disclose issues to parents. This has led to a lack of trust between GPs and young people. Furthermore, some schools do not handle mental health cases effectively, sometimes threatening to inform parents if a student refuses to do something due to legitimate concerns.
Neil clarified that they may not be able to directly address schools, but they are receptive to the feedback provided, as it offers valuable insights into these issues. Additionally, it was observed that some NHS providers categorize cases as “behavioral problems” rather than recognizing them as mental health issues. The group also acknowledged the need to simplify medical terminology to make it more accessible, especially for parents, patients with English as an additional language, and individuals with disabilities. Neil and Leslie both agreed on the importance of using simpler language to ensure better communication with all patients.
Dayna assumed responsibility for this portion of the meeting in Tom’s absence. Tom introduced the idea of a motion addressing school supplies and resources. With the impending relocation of the Oldham Council offices to the Spindles, there’s a potential surplus of items like pens and calculators, and some partner businesses associated with the council might also have relevant merchandise. In a prior meeting, it was suggested that we approach the council with a request to donate these resources, which could then be distributed to schools, ensuring that students have access to essential items like pens.
Tom had already prepared a draft motion on behalf of the Oldham Youth Council, which we could utilize and submit to the Oldham Council. He encouraged the youth council members to review it and provide their feedback and suggestions before finalising the motion for submission.
After the discussions, we delved into improvements, feedback, and additional suggestions. Overall, the feedback was generally positive, with only a few minor changes and minor suggestions requested.
EVENTS AND TRIPS (DAYNA)
- Thursday the 16th of November – Overview and Scrutiny Panel
- Saturday the 25th of November – Reindeer Parade
There was an E-Safety group mentioned in the previous meeting, and Dayna was looking if anyone else was interested.
Zaynab and Hamza are filming videos on behalf of the youth council and would like a large number of youth councillors available for the next priorities meeting (Wednesday the 8th of November 2023)