"Participation at the Heart: Lessons from Child-Centred Practice in UK Healthcare During and Beyond COVID-19

Louca-Mai Brady, LUCY BRAY, Kath Evans

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Whilst there is growing awareness of the case for children and young people's participation in health services and health service research, there is limited evidence on how this apparent commitment to children's right to participate translates into practice.

The chapter, co-authored with and young people, draws on examples from the authors' original research and lived experience to consider the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children and young people's participation in the United Kingdom (UK) National Health Service (NHS). There is evidence of children and young people in the UK becoming more reliant on parents and carers as conduits for engagement and as sources of information during the pandemic. Additionally, some children and young people with special educational needs and disability and other potentially vulnerable groups have engaged less with health services and have been excluded from participating by a move to digital platforms. Conversely online and phone involvement and consultations have led to higher inclusion for others. Adapting by necessity to COVID-19 has highlighted the potential for doing things differently and developing more participatory and inclusive practice in collaboration with children, in the UK and elsewhere. It is critical that children are involved in shaping the development of participation practice which challenges and reshapes institutional practices in health services and beyond.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEstablishing Child Centred Practice in a Changing World, Part A
EditorsSam Frankel
PublisherBingley: Emerald
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)978-1801174077
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2022

Publication series

NameEmerald Studies in Child Centred Practice


  • participation
  • involvement
  • healthcare
  • health services
  • childrens rights
  • young voice


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