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Wednesday 28 September 2016
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Under 16s almost absent in NHS surveys

Children under 16 make up less than one percent of NHS patient surveys, research shows.

The research, published in Archives of Disease in Childhood reviewed 38 national surveys undertaken between 2001 and 2011, covering all aspects of NHS care.

Patients under the age of 16 were included in only one of these surveys, equivalent to just 0.6% of more than 10 million respondents since 2001, and none since 2004.

Furthermore, when young adults did choose to share their experiences of the NHS, they revealed they are less satisfied with the care they receive than older adults.

Eighty-three percent of 18 to 24 year olds surveyed said they were satisfied with the level of care they received in a primary care setting, compared with 90% of older adults.

The study also shows young people tended to say they felt less involved in their care, had less confidence and trust in their doctor, and felt they were treated with less respect and dignity than older people

"Despite the current focus on services for young people and the importance of patients' views in improving services, the voice of under 16s is not included in most national surveys," conclude the authors.

"There is a clear gap between our findings and the stated aims of professionals and policy makers to listen to young people."

Furthermore, when young adults did choose to share their experiences of the NHS, they revealed they are less satisfied with the care they receive than older adults.

Eighty-three percent of 18 to 24 year olds surveyed said they were satisfied with the level of care they received in a primary care setting, compared with 90% of older adults.

The study also shows young people tended to say they felt less involved in their care, had less confidence and trust in their doctor, and felt they were treated with less respect and dignity than older people

"Despite the current focus on services for young people and the importance of patients' views in improving services, the voice of under 16s is not included in most national surveys," conclude the authors.

"There is a clear gap between our findings and the stated aims of professionals and policy makers to listen to young people."