Engaging young people in NHS service delivery and development: A scoping review of the evidence

Lizzie Wortley, Ann Hagell, Louca-Mai Brady

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


Commissioned by the NHS England, alongside a survey and interviews with NHS staff, this review found that while there is widespread support for youth participation in the development and delivery of healthcare services, it is not very clear what is actually being undertaken in practice within the NHS, or what the evidence is for good practice.
We do have a fairly extensive literature on models of participation more generally that can be usefully applied to this context, and a developing sense of the categories of engagement that are being employed in developing and monitoring health services for young people. However, this scoping review concluded that, in terms of good practice and what works, there is much less evidence available, and we know very little about how engagement ‘works’ for the young people involved.
What does exist in the research literature suggests that much of what is going on is piecemeal, short lived, or lacking clear aims and outcomes. While there may be a fair amount of consulting and informing taking place, truly empowering models of participation are rarely documented. There is clearly a need for more evidencing, both in terms of a description of what is undertaken, but also analysis of impact. Finding ways to improve the evidence base is now critical if participation is going to have the transformative impact on the system that it has the potential to achieve.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherAssociation for Young People's Health
Commissioning bodyNHS England
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 12 May 2024


  • young people
  • Participation
  • health service
  • NHS


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