We are glad to share with you the translated version of our latest press release originally in Italian.

Please note that the following content has been automatically translated to English.



The European project involving Sant’Anna School, Meyer Children’s Hospital, and UNICEF in Italy is approaching its conclusion. On Friday, September 22nd, the final conference is scheduled in Florence, where the project results will be shared.

Improving healthcare through ‘the voice’ of young patients. The evaluation of the experience of patients in European pediatric hospitals has begun, thanks to the VoiCEs project.

Pisa/Florence, September 13.

Strengthening the rights of children and adolescents during hospitalization, ensuring that every voice of young patients is heard, valued, and taken into consideration. This is the main objective of the European project “VoiCEs,” through which four pediatric hospitals – the University Pediatric Hospital in Riga, Latvia, Meyer Children’s Hospital in Italy, the University Hospital in Helsinki, Finland, and Erasmus Hospital in the Netherlands, in collaboration with Sant’Anna School, UNICEF Italy, and the European Association of Children’s Hospitals, have prepared a digital tool to collect the opinions of children and adolescents in hospitals. The results will be presented during the final conference that concludes the project, scheduled for Friday, September 22nd, at the Meyer Health Campus in Florence.

“Our vision – says Sabina De Rosis, researcher at Sant’Anna School and project coordinator – is to lay the groundwork for a European, and perhaps even global, observatory dedicated to monitoring and improving healthcare for children and adolescents.”

Survey results: The seven macro areas and the positive evaluation of the hospital experience The survey conducted by the “VoiCEs” project involved children aged 0 to 17 and their parents. The survey was adapted to different age groups: for children who cannot read, parents must fill out the questionnaire, while older children and adolescents were able to do it themselves. Summarizing the results of the interviews and involving about 100 healthcare professionals, seven macro areas were identified: Clear and effective communication; Effective treatment by trusted professionals; Emotional support, empathy, and respect; Involvement and support for family and caregivers; Attention to physical and environmental needs/Comfort; Continuity of care and smooth transitions/Discharge; Overall satisfaction.

On average, half of the patients in the hospitals involved in the project participated in the survey – 41% of children and 50% of parents. Survey results show that, overall, they are very satisfied with their hospital experience. Both minors and their parents attribute the highest value to understandable and clear communication in the hospital (over 90.1% of interviewed children and 88.8% of parents). The treatment provided by hospital staff was also positively evaluated, considered reliable (88.2% of children and 90.2% of parents of children). At the same time, the opinions of children and their parents differ regarding experiences such as empathetic, courteous, friendly, and respectful treatment, positively rated by 85.2% of parents but relatively less by the children themselves (75.6%). The level of comfort in hospitals is also evaluated differently: 85.7% of parents and 75.6% of children positively rate the stay in the hospital and comfort.

“We have embarked on an innovative journey, breaking down geographical and linguistic barriers, to gather the voices of children, adolescents, and their caregivers in different countries,” continues Sabina De Rosis. “For the first time, we used a standardized tool specifically designed to meet the unique needs and preferences of children. The public disclosure of minors’ assessments of hospital services will not only highlight areas for improvement but will also inspire innovations within healthcare organizations, leading to the creation of a more compassionate and responsive healthcare environment for our young patients.

“It is a pleasure to see the innovative tools of VoiCEs materializing, with children and adolescents taking center stage in an investigation that concerns them firsthand. The Convention on the Rights of the Child places listening to the child among the fundamental rights, and we hope that the VoiCes model will be adopted not only in the 4 hospitals of the project but on a European and global scale to ensure that their voices are a lever for improving pediatric care and overall well-being,” said Carmela Pace, President of UNICEF Italy.

Save the date for September 22nd for the sharing of results and future perspectives Sant’Anna School and Meyer Children’s Hospital will host the final conference of the “VoiCes” project on September 22nd in Florence, during which the parties involved in the project, representatives of health and social institutions, industry professionals, and other stakeholders will share the project results and discuss its final conclusions. The complete program can be consulted on the Meyer Campus website. The conference will also be available online following this link.

The project is implemented with the support of the European Commission.

More information at this link: https://voicesproject.eu/



The italian version is available here:https://www.santannapisa.it/sites/default/files/2023-09/Comunicato%20Stampa_Progetto%20Voices_Migliorare%20l%27assistenza%20sanitaria%20attraverso%20la%20voce%20dei%20piccoli%20pazienti.pdf



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The VoiCEs Project is co-funded by the European Union’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme (2014-2020) (REC-RCHI-PROF-AG-2020

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