The service launched in March this year and is run in collaboration with The J’s Hospice. Six patients are currently involved, with a maximum capacity of 14 patients. The group meets between 3:30pm–7:30pm every Monday at the Joan Tomkins Day Centre in Colchester.
The multidisciplinary service helps young adults with maximising their potential in education, health, developement and wellbeing. They take part in group activities such as music, art and games, and also receive physiotherapy, occupational therapy and psychological care. This also gives an opportunity for nurses to help monitor for potential problems, answer questions and provide preventative care.
Karen Neller, lead nurse of the transition service, said, “Many of these young adults have previously found themselves stuck in a black hole between children and adult services, with no access to what they really need to manage on a day-to-day basis. Our new service will provide them with a network of their own and also give somewhere for their families to call for advice and support.
“We can’t yet provide the support that they may have had in the past through children’s services but we can help prevent social isolation.
“These young adults will get the opportunity to spend time with people their own age. Their illnesses haven’t taken away their hopes, ambitions and dreams – we can help them achieve what they are able in their young lives.”
The idea for starting the service came from a chance meeting between Beverly Barkley, direct of The J’s Hospice and Stella Fletcher, inpatient unit director at St Helena Hospice. Staff costs were funded by the North Essex Primary Care Trust before they were integrated into the new Clinical Commisisoning Group.