changethefuture2019twitterChange the Future 2019 is bringing together colleagues across the country interested in improving children and young people’s experience and care in acute hospital settings, particularly when they attend due to their mental health.

The number of children and young people attending A&E in mental health crisis has tripled since 2010/2011 (Department of Health and Social Care, 2018) and research by We Can Talk of more than 2000 hospital staff shows that most feel they lack the skills, confidence and knowledge to meet the emotional and mental health needs of these patients.

Change the Future 2019 is the first national shared learning event hosted by the team from We Can Talk, who work with organisations across England to improve patient experience, reduce risk and improve outcomes for children, young people and their parents / carers when they present to acute hospitals settings due to their mental health. High profile leaders from across country will share their experiences of tackling these issues and explain how they are adapting to better meet the needs of staff and patients.

Speakers include:

  • Sally Shearer, Chair, Association of Chief Children’s Nurses; Executive Director of Nursing and Quality, Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust
  • Beth Ingram, Young Advisor, Common Room; Senior Young Advisor, We Can Talk; Director, Hearts & Minds
  • Kathryn Pugh, Deputy Head of Mental Health, Children and Young People’s Mental Health Programme Lead, NHS England
  • Elaine Bowden, Deputy Programme Lead, National Mental Health Programmes, Health Education England
  • Michelle Johnson, Chief Nurse and Director of Patient Experience, Whittington Health NHS Trust
  • Sharon Ward, General Manager, Children, Young People & Families Directorate / CAMHS, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
  • Caroline Alexander, Chief Nursing Officer, Barts Health NHS Trust
  • Kate Dalzell, Director, Child Outcomes Research Consortium (CORC)
  • Dr Kate Martin, Director, Common Room; National Development Director, We Can Talk
  • Robin Barker, Director, Healthy Teen Minds; National Director, We Can Talk
  • Speaker TBC, Care Quality Commission (TBC)
  • Other speakers TBC


We want to ensure Change the Future 2019 is as inclusive and balanced as possible. We are working to bring together a wide range of voices from different organisations, geographies, sectors and experiences.

We need you your help with a few things:

  • When you register your interest to attend please could you answer a few brief questions. This will give us a sense of who you are and help us to ensure discussions on the day are rounded and inclusive. When you register please also let us know any access requirements or dietary restrictions.
  • Tell someone else about this event. We want to grow our network to change the future for every child and young person who attends hospital due to their mental health. If you believe someone could bring a valuable perspective to the day and benefit from it let them know.
  • If you need support to attend this event we are able to offer a limited number of travel bursaries to support people who may otherwise find it difficult to attend. If you wish to apply for a bursary, please do get in touch with
  • Although we have worked to ensure this event is free to attend it costs our project nearly £100 per person. If you are awarded a place please let us know if you can no longer attend. Those who do not attend or cancel their place less than one week in advance may be charged £100 to cover the cost.

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