Teens moving to adult NHS services invited to special event

Parents, carers and young people are being invited to find out more about the support available to them as they plan and prepare to transition from children’s to adult healthcare services.

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust and Sheffield Commissioning Group have teamed up to showcase the services young people across Sheffield can access at a special Transition evening event at Sheffield Town Hall on Tuesday 6 November between 6 and 8pm.

‘Transition’ or the process of planning, preparing and moving from children’s to adult healthcare services, varies depending on individual circumstances, but should start at around 12 years of age. However, although the process begins at this age, the majority of young people move directly from children’s to adult services when they are aged between 16 and 18 years.

During this free, drop-in event, families, carers and young people will have the chance to meet and chat with staff and peers from a range of health services to find out more about the new services they will be moving into and the support that is available through other organisations.

As well as a number of specialist adult NHS services, such as diabetes, kidney, respiratory, gastroenterology, representatives from Weston Park Hospital’s Teenage Cancer Unit, the Transition/Young Adult Care Team and members of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals’ emergency department will be on hand to provide information and support.

There will also be an opportunity for families, carers and young people to meet with partner agencies who can help them with their future healthcare needs, including the Sheffield-Parent Carer forum, Sheffield Futures and Sheffield Youth Cabinet, The Corner, Sexual Health Sheffield, Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust’s Community Learning Disability Team, Door 43, Thalassemia charity, STEPS, and Sheffield Youth Forum.

The transition from children’s to adult healthcare services often coincides with other major changes in young people’s lives such as them starting work or going to secondary school or sixth form college. It’s also a time when young adults start to become more independent, making it an anxious time for both parents, families and carers, who have to adjust to changes such as the young adult taking responsibility for taking their own medicines and treatments when the responsibility has previously rested with them.

Rachel Macqueen, who is the Registered Nurse for Children and Young People at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, said: “This event will bring together all the services involved in helping support families, parents, carers and young people as they move to adult health services and is a really encouraging step forward in helping ensure that young adults stay engaged in their healthcare needs.”

Natalie Bell, transition officer from Sheffield Children’s, said:

We are looking forward to meeting young people and families and answering any questions they have. Moving on from children’s services to adult ones can seem daunting, but we’re all here to help make it a smooth transition.

According to figures published by the Association of Young People’s Health, 23% of young people aged 11-15 report they have a long-term condition or disability, with 1 in 10 young people aged 10 to 24 saying this affects their ability to do everyday tasks. This includes conditions such as asthma, eczema which can be managed by GPs as well as those requiring hospital interventions.

Patients and families also report anxiety about the transition to adult services, according to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and effective transition to adult health services can significantly impact on the health of young people. For example, the highest mortality rates in patients with diabetes are reported in those aged 15 to 35 and higher rates of kidney transplant loss are seen in those aged 18 to 25 compared to other age groups. These statistics demonstrate the need for effective transition to engage young people in health care as they move to adult services to reduce potential negative consequences to their health.

For further information about the event contact Rachel Macqueen, Registered Nurse for Children and Young People, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, 0114 2266644, rachel.macqueen@sth.nhs.uk