Understanding Your Rights in the Health System

Get Your Rights project has developed interactive and accessible tools for children and young people to help them understand their rights in the health system.

We all have rights when we are using the NHS, but we don’t always know exactly what they are and this is especially true for children and young people.

The Get Your Rights project aims to help children and young people explore their rights and become more confident when using the NHS by explaining what the rights in the NHS Constitution mean for them. We have done this in three workstreams

The Get Your Rights website

To address the issues we found during our research we developed the Get Your Rights website, an interactive and accessible online tool for children and young people to help them understand their rights in the health system.

The website has an interactive guide to the rights in the NHS Constitution, videos from young people telling their stories about how the rights have made a difference to them, and messages from professionals explaining why they value young people’s rights.

It also has links to resources to support professionals apply the rights when working with children and young people. Check it out and spread the word on social media with #Getyourrights

Get Your Rights Workshop resources

Based on our original research, the Get Your Rights toolkit (currently unavailable) has practical resources to help professionals have conversations with children and young people about their rights in the NHS Constitution.

It has been piloted by local Healthwatch organisations across the country, who used it in lots of different ways with diverse groups of children and young people from introducing basic concepts about rights to planning campaign to improve local services.

It's been brilliant for us, with the  resources and ideas. I've just had to go and deliver, been brilliant ….work's done for you.

Local Healthwatch worker

The Research Reports

The resources are based on research on we carried out with children and young people across England who had a wide range of experiences of using NHS services.

We found that they were unaware of their rights and this was impacting on their experience of using the NHS. We have set out the detailed findings in two reports. We also carried out a final evaluation to look at how successful the project was in engaging and building awareness of the NHS constitution.

What we achieved

Our research has helped professionals and policy makers understand the issues facing children and young people when using the NHS and the Get Your Rights website and toolkit have been used by practitioners across England to help children and young people understand their rights. Over 300 children and young people took part in the workshops and in its first month of launching over the website received over 5,000 visits.

Securing engagement

To do this, first we carried out research with 80 children and young people who faced additional barriers to using the rights, including:

  • Children and young people with learning disabilities
  • Children and young people with long term health conditions with extensive experience of the health system
  • Children and young people with mental health issues
  • Children and young people with experience of local authority care

To make sure that children and young people’s views were present throughout the project we recruited a disabled young researcher who had been part of the Viper research project as a paid co-researcher. The co-researcher helped the project team to design and deliver every element of the project, and brought a valuable insight to the project. This experience helped them secure paid employment as a local authority participation officer.

It made a big difference, … being associated with this project and it’s making a big difference to me now … in getting a job… especially because I was more in the lead and working on my own… had more responsibility and autonomy … being able to use creative methods to get the views of young people

Young researcher

The overall progress of the project is set out in an external evaluation carried out by NCB research.

Evaluation Report