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Conference Abstracts

Using virtual workshops to bring together young people, parents and professionals to better understand local experiences of health and care services


Samuel Miller ,

Imperial College NHS Trust, GB
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Phoebe Rutherford,

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Gabrielle Mathews,

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Arpana Soni,

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Mando Watson,

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Rianne Steele

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The NHS (UK) is reorganising health and care services to work in integrated care systems (ICS)(1).  This presents an opportunity for children, young people (YP) and parents to be directly involved in the redesign of their local health and care services. The challenge is ensuring the patient voice is heard from across the ICS. Working with researchers from the National Institute of Health Research's School for Public Health Research team, North West London ICS and Imperial Patient Experience Research Centre, our local integrated care collaborative (Connecting Care for Children) developed a virtual workshop to help shape local health priorities.

Aims Objectives Theory or Methods

Key organisations involved in children’s health and wellbeing across the ICS were approached to provide ‘ambassadors’ to recruit YP, parents, volunteers and healthcare professionals. The workshop activities were designed using insights from a local youth health champion.

The video conferencing software Zoom (2) enabled participants to join remotely from laptops and smartphones without having to download software. Zoom’s white board and polling facilities created an interactive environment for participants to express themselves and build on each other’s opinion. Smaller group “breakout sessions” followed, allowing participants to discuss shared health concerns without the pressure of a large audience.

Highlights or Results or Key Findings

22 participants attended the workshop from a wide range of backgrounds including young people, parents, grandparents, community volunteers, and professionals from health, social care and the voluntary sector.

Qualitative data was recorded and transcribed during the workshop.  A thematic analysis was performed using the software Nvivo.  1st and 2nd authors independently coded the data to identify significant statements and extract relevant meanings. Six core themes emerged as key issues:


•           Access to mental health support

•           Mental health support in schools

•           Navigating the system

•           Young people’s ownership of their care

•           Pressures on parents

•           Maintaining a healthy weight


As an output from the event, a workshop report describing these six themes was shared with workshop participants and with local stakeholders in child health service and redesign (3).


Engaging YP in conversations using a virtual platform may be more accessible to YP and is also effective with adults and professionals. 

Building relationships with citizens, especially YP and their parents through community organisations and youth groups helps to build trust and future engagement in health and wellbeing conversations.

 Implications for applicability/transferability sustainability and limitations

Our virtual workshop approach is replicable and adaptable to local population needs and is an effective tool to hear and share the voices of citizens. We acknowledge that such workshops exclude the voice of citizens without access to technology.


(1)       NHS Long term plan

(2)       Zoom


How to Cite: Miller S, Rutherford P, Mathews G, Soni A, Watson M, Steele R. Using virtual workshops to bring together young people, parents and professionals to better understand local experiences of health and care services. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2022;22(S2):30. DOI:
Published on 16 May 2022.


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