Children and young people-centred communication
Child and young person-centred communication is more than basic communication or interpersonal skills. It is also important to understand our views, experience and expertise and involve us in choices and decisions about our health and social care.
Here are some of the typical communication challenges that children and young people say they experience when seeing a healthcare professional:
Involve us in the whole conversation
Good communication is more than eye contact and body language, it is about us being involved in discussions and decisions about our care. Decisions should be made with us, not about us, (no matter how big or small), because they are about our bodies and our lives.
It’s not if, but how we can be involved in discussions and decisions about our health and social care
We all know what we think and feel, so no child is too young to be involved in some way. Remember, it’s not if, but how we can get involved in discussions and decisions. Focus on our experience, not our age.
Talk with us, not at us or about us
Respect our expertise and talk with us, not at us or about us. If you don’t include us you can miss important information about our health, symptoms or warning signs. If people talk about us, always refer back to us, so that we are at the centre of the conversation.
Talk to us about how things should happen
Being heard is more than being asked about what help or support we want or need. We know we’re really being heard when healthcare professionals ask us how we want things to be done.