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Diabetes team helping teach teenagers to manage their condition into adulthood

The paediatric diabetes team at Worcestershire’s hospitals have launched a new campaign to support teenagers to manage their diabetes and prepare them for adult life.

Many teenagers with diabetes have received care from the same clinicians for as long as they can remember and are used to being closely monitored. However, between the ages of 16 and 18, they must transition into the adult diabetes service which places the focus on managing their own condition – this can seem daunting and unfamiliar for some.

To help teenagers transfer to adult services more smoothly, the paediatric diabetes team have produced a new video and information leaflets to explain the changes and help these patients to feel more confident to manage their condition more independently.

The video has been produced using real patients in their late teens who are going through the transition process. Jade Doody and Tom Essex, are still using the paediatric service but are due to transfer to the adult service shortly. The video follows their journey as they discuss their fears and concerns with Abi Hill and Chris Bright who have been through the transition process themselves.

The transition process aims to develop independence and responsibility for patients’ own diabetes care and general health. The information and education helps young people to develop their skills in communication and decision making, improving their sense of control and independence so they can make the best informed choices about their own health.

Around 30 young people in Worcestershire go through the transition from paediatric to adult diabetes services each year, with the patient choosing when they move, any time between their 16th and 18th birthdays.

Chris said: “It’s your opportunity to take control of your care. When I first moved into the adult service it was a little bit of a worrying time, but there’s a lot of support out there so they really help you transition. You get the opportunity to ask questions so the move really isn’t as difficult or as big as you might think.”

Tom said: “It’s given me peace of mind, knowing that they worried about the same things that I do.”

Jade said: “I found I got a new perspective on the adult services. It’s nice nurses and doctors telling us everything, but it’s really nice to know what it feels like from a first person’s perspective.”

The video will be available on our paediatric diabetes pages here and our Youtube channel here from next week.

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4ward is our Trustwide culture change programme which is helping us build a more positive, supportive workplace for the benefit of our patients and colleagues. At its heart are our four 4ward Behaviours.