Transition and Young Adult Services
The transition into adulthood is a challenging and complex process in which young people who have been dependent on parents and carers, start taking definitive steps to achieve financial, residential and emotional independence.
Young people between the ages of 10 to 24 account for 19% of the UK population. Over 85% of children with chronic illnesses survive into adulthood and this highlights the need for specialised care to ensure a successful transition from children’s to adult healthcare services.
The Leeds Liver Unit has developed a service for patients who had their liver disease diagnosed and treated as children to facilitate their transfer into the adult services.
The service includes:
- A multidisciplinary team meeting
- Pre-transition and adolescent clinic for 11 to 16 year olds
- Joint paediatric and adult nurse-led transition clinics for 15 and 16 year olds
- A handover clinic within the children’s service setting
- A young adult clinic within the adult service setting
Providers of this service:
- Sister Lynne Henderson ( Clinical Nurse Specialist Paediatric Liver services)
- Sister Jacqueline Jennings (Clinical Nurse Specialist Adult Liver services)
- Dr Patricia McClean (Consultant Paediatric Hepatologist)
- Dr Lee Claridge (Consultant Adult Hepatologist)
- Anokh Goodman (Young Persons Key Worker)
The service is supported by two Specialist Nurses, one each from the Children’s service and the Adult service, and by a Youth Key Worker. Informal patient support is provided at the young adult clinic by the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation.
The Young Adult Key Worker acts as a bridge between the health care teams and the young people and endeavours to foster peer interactions. He also supports social and sporting event participation such as the participation of some of our young adult patients in the Transplant Games.
An informal preparation day is also offered prior to the handover day to allow parents/careers and young people to meet members of the adult multidisciplinary team and have a chance to familiarise themselves with the adult ward and clinic.
Patients who have their liver disease diagnosed as young adults may also benefit from this service and this is individualised to patient need. The Liver Unit has many professionals who are very experienced in looking after young adults and the principles of our transitional services are shared widely amongst our wider team.