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The Corporation

Posted: 02/05/14

The big health debate

Young people had the chance to discuss health and social issues with healthcare and council leaders at a Question Time-style debate this week.

The health debate welcomed eight panel members from the health community to give advice and hear students' views

The Health Debate, organised by West Nottinghamshire College’s Students’ Union and health and wellbeing team, saw over 60 students put topical health problems and statistics out for discussion with a panel of eight high-profile members of the community on Tuesday (6 May).

Issues such as smoking, substance misuse, obesity in young people, teenage pregnancy and sexual health, poverty and mental health were put to the panel to help dispel myths, offer advice and hear the views of students at the Mansfield-based college.

On the panel were:

• Councillor Chris Baron, leader of Ashfield District Council
• Alison Cooper and Carla Rainbow from Hetty’s drug and alcohol advisory service
• Keith Sudbury, on behalf of the Anthony Nolan blood cancer charity
• Angela Knight, paediatric nurse specialist from The Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
• Dr Ahmed, consultant paediatrician from The Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
• Alison Duckers, Healthwatch Nottinghamshire Community and Partnerships Worker
• Dr Clare Bale, independent health consultant

As the debate progressed, each student had a red and a green voting card to indicate whether they agreed or disagreed with the responses given by the panel.

Jamie Wragg, team leader of the health and wellbeing team, said: “The debate enabled our students to have a voice, to have some difficult and controversial questions answered by expert individuals who have the health and wellbeing of young people in mind.

“I was very proud of our students who posed some interesting and thought-provoking questions and it was good to hear the professional opinions of the panel.”