Mike Bell, Patient and Public Involvement Facilitator for Bristol Health Partners, describes the work of the Bristol Young Persons Advisory Group (YPAG) which comprises young people aged between 10 and 17 who are interested in healthcare and research.
Being so close to Christmas, you might have expected a bit of a party atmosphere on 21 December at the last Generation R Young Person’s Advisory Group meeting and you’d be right. There was, however, some serious research work to be done in between the mince pies and chocolate log.
16 young people, whose ages ranged from 11 to 17, were asked for their opinions on a variety of topics, including the ‘Stealth project’ which looks at how to get young people to exercise without realising, and who they would prefer to teach them about sex (stop giggling at the back) and relationships: a teacher they knew or a complete stranger.
They were also given free rein to design novel medication adherence devices, which included tattoos that only ink up when you need to take your tablets and a friendship bracelet that changes colour to remind you to take your medicine.
It was a long and tiring day, finishing with a brief anatomy lesson and an opportunity to have a try at taking a blood sample from a variety of ‘arms’.
Finally, Santa dropped in to present the participants with a certificate and a lucky dip with various health research related gifts.
The next planned meeting will be on 5 April 2016. If you feel your research project might benefit from critical evaluation of a feisty group of young people, you can contact me at email@example.com or call me on 0117 342 1249 to discuss further.