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Young people awards Health Board for its commitment to improving patient experience


The North Wales Adolescent Service (NWAS) has received a national award, inspected and awarded by young people, for its work to ensure the voices of young people, and their families and carers, were listened to and supported. 

NWAS, a service from Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB), supports young people who need specialist mental health support either in hospital or at home.  

The service has been awarded a Kitemark for its work embedding patient experience into the heart of their service to improve the experience for young people who are involved with the service.  

In Wales, there are seven National Participation Standards to help organisations and individuals make sure the process, quality and experience of any participation is good for children and young people. The National Participation Standards Kitemark is an award that organisations can achieve if they prove they are achieving against the National Standards.  

Last month NWAS submitted its work on improving patient experience to the young people who volunteer with the charity Youth Cymru. 

Louise Bell, Assistant Director of the Health Board’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), said: “I’m delighted the service has received such a prestigious award and it’s been recognised by young people for its outstanding commitment, from all staff working with NWAS services, in improving outcomes for young people through engagement and participation. 

“We submitted 57 pieces of substantial evidence of its commitment to working closely with young people. NWAS as a service can evidence good practice against each one of the standards within the expectations of achieving the Kitemark.” 

The young people at the inspection awarded NWAS with the Kite Mark and gave feedback to the service on its commitment to improving patient experience. 

Read more: Children and young people help develop North Wales' Children's Charter.  

Mathew Robertshaw, Interim Service Manager, said: “NWAS will continue to promote participation and engagement and include young people in its planning, development and monitoring of services now and in the future. There are still a number of areas we can improve in and strengthen our offer and I look forward to working on these over the next year.” 

The Kitemark is endorsed by Welsh Government, recognised for four years. The National Participation Standards supports services working with children and young people in monitoring the effectiveness of developing youth participation within their organisations. This ensures children and young people participate in the design, delivery and evaluation of services. 

Jane Berry, Patient Experience Lead for CAMHS said: “The work in NWAS is a great demonstration of how BCUHB are striving to work with children and young people in a children’s rights-based approach and in improving the experiences of children and young people when receiving support from health services.” 

During April the health board is officially launching its BCUHB Children’s Rights Charter. CAMHS, Children’s Learning Disability Services and Neurodevelopment Services service has engaged with thousands of children and young people to help develop the charter which is a set of standards that they will work to, to make sure children and young people are treated fairly and have a voice.   

For more information about NWAS please click here