A TEAM of young inspectors has been recruited to help ensure a visit to the doctor is not-so-daunting for young people.
The 13-to-25-year-olds have rated the welcome, treatment and customer service they received from GP practices.
First to receive the special “You’re Welcome” accreditation from the youngsters is the Encompass GP Surgery at The Galleries Health Centre in Washington.
In the last 12 months, the young people have been visiting health services to assess areas of practice that affect young people, and surgeries have had to provide evidence that they are “young people friendly” and meet their needs.
Young inspector Michael Wolfe, 19, of Millfield, said: “We appreciate that doctors’ surgeries are very busy places, and appreciated the time given to us by the staff.
“The team were pleased with the steps being taken to make a young person feel comfortable, and to gain their trust which allows people to feel confident and reassured that any delicate information they need to discuss will remain private and confidential.
“We were shown around the rooms and facilities young patients would use. The inspections meant we were able to gain a first-hand perspective of how welcome people would feel on their first visit, and whether it would make them feel comfortable enough to return on a regular basis to access the services provided.”
Encompass practice manager, Sharmila Parks said: “We have thoroughly enjoyed working with the young inspectors who have given us lots advice and innovative ideas about how to make our service more accessible to young people.”
Coun Pat Smith added: “What makes these awards so special is the fact that the young people have the final say in the decision to award the organisation with the ‘You’re Welcome’ quality criteria.”