Young care leavers in Hull are to be given a Handy Health Guide to help them to navigate the often-confusing health service.
The card, launched by NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) this month, will include information on where to access medical treatment and how to look after mental health and wellbeing.
It is the brainchild of Tom, 22, one of the care leavers involved with the Hull City Council Care Leaver team, which helps young people who have spent time in local authority care.
The A3 information sheet, which folds down to the size of a credit card, tells care leavers where they can access medical advice and emergency treatment in Hull.
It includes advice on visiting the pharmacy and registering with a GP plus information on services for stopping smoking, sexual health and domestic abuse support.
Phil Morris, personal advisor for the Care Leaver Team at Hull City Council said: “We know that young people who have gone from living in local authority care or with foster carers, to living on their own, can sometimes struggle with the things we take for granted like booking an appointment with their doctor or registering with a dentist.
We’re so proud to have launched our Handy Health Guide for #Hull care leavers.
Over the past few months we’ve been working with the @GhRoom42 team to make this a reality and now its officially here!
— NHS Hull CCG (@NHSHullCCG) 19 November 2019
“This Handy Health Guide will act as the perfect pointer for the young people we work with so if they’re not sure who to ask about something or where to go for help and support, they have something to refer to, a starting point at their fingertips which doesn’t need internet access and is easy to understand.”
It is hoped the Handy Health Guide will be distributed to all the 500-plus young people who identify as a care leavers across the city over the next few months.
Georgie Taylor, Care Leaver Champion at Hull City Council, said: “As a care leaver, it has been great to be involved in making this card.
“Even small things, like adding in when a phone number is free to call or how to get support paying for prescriptions, will make a big difference to some young people. The mental health information is so important and now we have a way to share this with all care leavers without them feeling embarrassed or put on the spot.”
Councillor Gwen Lunn, Hull City Council’s portfolio holder for Public Health and adult social care, said: “We know young people can often feel like adults make decisions about them without their involvement. What’s fantastic about the health card is that they are something entirely owned by young people, from conception through development – they have said ‘we need this’ and the adults in the room have said ‘okay, tell us how to do it’.”
View the Handy Health Guide here.