College students devise Healthwatch-style projects to hear the views of young people

We worked with Wiltshire College students to gather feedback from young people on a variety of health and care topics.
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In early 2022, Healthwatch Wiltshire worked with students studying Level 3 Health and Social Care at Wiltshire College to gather the views of young people on GP accessibility, alcohol abuse and asthma. Each group produced a report detailing their findings and made their own recommendations to improve services. Here's what the students found out. 

GP accessibility

Students spoke to young people to see if there were any links between an individual’s age and their experience of accessing GP appointments. 

They designed a survey and created a suggestion box so that students could give their ideas on how GP accessibility and appointments could be improved. A timeline was created, and students were given cards with different ways to make a GP appointment, then arranged the cards in the order they preferred.

Key findings

  • Younger people felt they needed more flexibility in appointment times and that there is a need for GP appointments to be more accessible to people of all ages.
  • 72% of young people attend a GP appointment with their guardian.
  • 39% of people were made to wait at least a week for an appointment.
  • There really was a need for the GP to be more accessible and not just for appointments. This was shown through people’s replies to the survey and their suggestions and recommendations.
  • People had very mixed feelings about the quality of their appointment with 28% giving a rating of 7/10 and 3% giving a rating of 3/10.

Read the report

GP Access Health Campaign Report - by Wiltshire College students

What do people know about alcohol? 

The students devised a survey to find out how much students and staff knew about alcohol, including responsible consumption, NHS and government guidelines, and the support available for those who need it.

Participants were also invited to match the alcohol percentage with a series of popular alcoholic drinks, and a short video on alcoholism was played.

Key findings

  • More needs to be done to ensure that people are aware of the support available to them and how to access services
  • 75% of respondents did not know how much alcohol was in the drinks they consume
  • 25% of respondents did not know the drinking limit for driving
  • Most opinions on drinking were on the dangers that come with it
  • Most were aware of the impact of alcohol on physical and mental health

Read the report

Alcohol Abuse Campaign Report - by Wiltshire College students

Identifying individuals' understanding of asthma

The students wanted to draw attention to the rising cases of asthma in the UK and inform people of ways to improve their symptoms. 

The group set up a stand in the foyer of Chippenham College and created a questionnaire which was available as a hard copy and online via a QR code for people to scan. They spoke to people in person about our campaign, gave them information, signposted them to sources of support, and encouraged them to try out a peak flow monitor (used by people with lung conditions, to measure how well lungs are able to expel air).

Key findings

Overall, most people understood what asthma was and what the symptoms were, however, they were not aware of how symptoms could be improved using alternative techniques.

The benefits of singing for people with asthma was not widely known, indicating that people were unaware of alternative methods for managing their symptoms. GPs and other healthcare professionals should make people aware of the positive effects that singing has on lung health and encourage people to try it.

Read the report

Asthma Campaign Report - by Wiltshire College students

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