Introduction

In partnership with Choice Support, we worked with the independent regulator of health and social care in England, The CQC, to revolutionise how the organisation listens, values, and acts upon youth voices and the lived experiences of children and young people.

Our task was to benchmark CQC’s existing practices and address significant organisational challenges through the active participation of young people. Following this we needed to use the insights gained from benchmarking and problem-solving activities to create a comprehensive roadmap for integrating youth voices into CQC’s organisational improvement workstreams.

What we did

We engaged a diverse team of 50 young individuals to collaboratively develop solutions for the CQC’s challenges. Our approach for CQC included the following steps.

   1. Collaborative workshops 

Teams of young people and senior leaders from the CQC worked together to identify and understand the key challenges faced by the organisation.

   2. Co-production of solutions

Through inclusive and participatory processes, young participants and senior leaders jointly generated innovative solutions to tackle these challenges.

   3. Implementation planning

The proposed solutions were refined, and an implementation plan was developed to ensure their successful integration into the organisation.

   4. Roadmap development workshops

Teams of young people collaborated with CQC staff and experts to define strategic objectives, key milestones, and implementation
strategies for the development of a youth voices roadmap.

   5. Roadmap development workshops

Teams of young people collaborated with CQC staff and experts to define strategic objectives, key milestones, and implementation
strategies for the development of a youth voices roadmap.

   6. Ongoing collaboration

Young participants were engaged in the ongoing monitoring, evaluation, and refinement of the roadmap to ensure its effectiveness and relevance.

Results

Through this work, CQC significantly amplified youth voices to foster a more inclusive and responsive healthcare system, demonstrating the immense value of youth participation and co-production in shaping organisational practices.

There were a number of inspiring outcomes, including the following highlights:

   1. Youth engagement with CQC

The project fostered a culture of active listening, with CQC valuing and acting upon young people's voices, enabling stronger connections and understanding with this younger demographic.

   2. Improved organisational practices

Recommendations and solutions co-produced by young people and senior leaders contributed to transformative changes in how CQC operates. Approaches were improved on some big topics, including the State of Care Report, human rights, and inspection processes.

   3. Youth-driven roadmap

This provides a comprehensive framework for CQC’s ongoing commitment to youth engagement, setting a clear direction for incorporating young people’s feedback into organisational improvement workstreams.

   4. Skill development

The impact of this project not only benefited the CQC, but also the young people who co-created these solutions. They had the opportunity to build essential skills such as teamwork, leadership, and communication, empowering them to become advocates for improving the health and social care system in their own communities.