Young Peoples Health Advocates (YPHAs)
YPHAs are a young people’s sub-group of the Patient Advisory Group that was set up after it was identified that young people were not currently represented strongly enough in the CCGs' engagement framework.
Significant engagement with this audience led to the development of the group. The idea was first suggested in November 2014, when young people came to the CCG for a day to get involved in its work. The CCG then worked closely with Lancashire County Council to bring together a diverse group of young people to help shape how the group would look. A launch event was held in August 2015, where the name for the group, the Young People’s Health Advocates (YPHAs), along with terms of reference and branding, was agreed.
Members of the group are aged 25 years and under, and have a passion about healthcare for children and young people, want the opportunity to express their views, and want to help make changes in their local health services for young people.
The group now meets once every six weeks, and a closed Facebook page has been developed to facilitate communication between the group, which includes planning meetings and identifying discussion topics. A Twitter account, @YPHAS, is live with members of the group managing the account, with the CCGs' help.
Branding and identity was important to the young people and, a range of merchandise has been designed to support the group’s identity, including branded T-shirts, NHS lanyards and ID badges.