Young people living in the Woodbridge area have begun benefiting from an innovative project – dubbed @16 – designed by patients from Framfield House Surgery.
From mid-November, registered patients turning 16 have been receiving an information pack offering details, contacts and guidance about managing their own mental and physical healthcare.
While not widely understood, the NHS classifies patients as ‘adults’ at the point they turn 16 – meaning they become responsible for consenting to their own treatment and having full access to their medical records.
With this in mind, Framfield’s healthcare team of doctors and nurses asked the Patient Participation Group (PPG) to undertake the project to increase the ways in which their young patients could be made aware of services and support available to them.
The PPG was guided by the surgery’s GP partners and practice management. The pack includes literature from selected local and national organisations.
The work was funded by Suffolk Community Foundation’s ‘PPG Pound Fund’. The Pound Fund itself was created by the East Suffolk and Ipswich Clinical Commissioning Group who have fully supported the @16 project.
Alan Swerdlow, Chairman of Framfield’s PPG, said: ‘We are pleased with the implementation of the project, and are grateful to all those who contributed.
“A team of three PPG members were delegated to lead the initiative, and they gained feedback through consultation with the medical professionals as well as with senior pupils at Farlingaye High School.”
The students at Farlingaye helped finalise the areas of content in the @16 folder and chose the cover design, which was carried out on a pro bono basis by Ben Wilson Creative, in Norwich.
Mr Swerdlow added: “The resulting project is comprehensive, and includes content on mental health, diet, sleep, sexual health and preventative health.
“The eight-page booklet lists voluntary organisations available to young people in this area. We believe it will be an invaluable tool.”
The @16 booklet’s opening pages provide reassuring details on privacy and confidentiality. It also explains that young people have a right to choose to have their parents or guardians continue to manage their care until they become 18.
Before the end of the year, a digital version will be available on the surgery’s website. Other local surgeries are also invited to contact Framfield House about adapting the @16 project for their own young patients.