A new guide published by the Patient Information Forum today, (18 July 2014) aims to help anyone who communicates with children and young people about their health, improve what they do. The Guide to Producing Health Information for Children and Young People sets a new standard and shares practical advice as well as examples of current best practice in the field.
Experts from child psychiatry, leading children’s health charities, Great Ormond Street Hospital, NHS England and children’s literature have all contributed to the guide. It comes at a time when improving children’s experience of healthcare is high up the political agenda.
Sarah Smith, Operations Director at PiF explains:
“There’s a huge array of children’s health information available, but it is often inappropriate, difficult to access and of varying quality. Resources are not freely accessible to all and there are significant gaps in provision.
Children and young people need information that’s specifically for them. They are not small adults, but neither are they big babies. Getting information across about sensitive and complex health matters is challenging, but possible, if it’s done in an age appropriate way.”
The Children’s Outcomes Forum commissioned by the Secretary of State, Prof. Dame Sally Davies, CMO for England’s recent manifesto and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child all establish the importance of a children’s right to participate in their care and be active and informed in decisions which affect them.
The guide focuses on the practical aspects of creating good health information, including involving children, choosing the right format, writing for children and tackling sensitive issues. It covers use of stories and play, social media and apps, how and when to give information, use of schools and the Internet as channels and communications for children with disabilities and special needs.
The guide is free to PiF members and £20 to non-members as a download. A free summary in pdf format is available to all. Click here for more details.