Hospices team up to support young adults

26 April 2017

Martin House is embarking on a pilot scheme in partnership with St Leonard’s Hospice in York to offer day provision for young adults with life-limiting illnesses.

The Hospices identified the need to provide something different  for teenagers and young adults aged between 18 and  35 years to help them not only live well, but enable a smooth transition into the world of adult care.

From April 2017, the two Hospices will provide an integrated, holistic form of day provision, offering social, psychological and medical input with consideration for all aspects of care, including the illness itself, relationships, housing and employment.

These pilot  sessions will take place one Tuesday each month at The Sunflower Centre at St Leonard’s Hospice and run as part of a  two year pilot project. The sessions will be led by a doctor and a clinical psychologist from martin House, together with staff from St. Leonard’s. Four members of care staff from Martin House Hospice will be present to assist with activities and personal care.

The sharing of staff and skills between the two hospices will allow  time to explore some of the issues facing young adults with life-limiting illnesses. It will provide access to ateam of professionals with a wide range of experiences and skills that can help pre-empt problems, offering an extension to an already valuable service.
The two Hospices believe that part of living well is the ability to meet people, socialise and have fun while trying out and pursuing activites and interests such as graffiti art, cooking, gaming and music making.

Emma Johnson, Clinical Director at St Leonard’s Hospice, said “The focus here is on person-centred care. The social element is vital for young adults with life-limiting illnesses who can feel socially isolated. Meeting people, sharing information and getting the right  support from professionals and peers is key to developing relationships and enhancing social skills. This can help young people feel listened to and valued.”
Dr Jan Aldridge, Consultant Clinical Psychologist at Martin House explains “The collaborative work with St. Leonard’s is a wonderful opportunity for our teams to share experiences and improve services for young adults across the region.  We are looking forward to working with the young people on shaping and developing this service.”

Although this is a pilot scheme initially set to run for 24 months, there is the potential for wider application after the scheme has been reviewed. The aim is for a long term impact for young people empowering them to interact more effectively with adult health services and facilitating  access to a better quality of life.