Friday, 20 February 2009

Building bridges

As part of the remit of our charity, we are always striving to build collaboarative networks with other organizations involved in the care of people waiting for or having had a transplant. Thus, whilst all and sundry were beavering away on their Great Valentine’s Cake Bakes on Friday, our Chairman was busying himself with the important issue of the transition of children from paediatric care to adult care.

GIFT, the Children’s Transplant Charity, arranged a get-together for medical professionals, patients, parents and carers at the Royal College of Physicians with the aim of achieving a national consensus for the transition of care for patients moving from pediatric to adult clinics across the country.

With notable contributions from consultants from Papworth, King’s and Sheffield, as well as medical teams and patients from the Freeman in Newcastle, Harefield, Great Ormond Street and Nottingham, it was a busy and highly productive day.After a series of lectures on the issues and the practices already in place, the conference split into several smaller break-out groups to discuss the various perspectives on transition from the patients’, parents’ and multi-disciplinary teams’ points of view.

The day ended with a large group discussion in the main RCP lecture theatre where the whole conference tried to hash out some general guidelines or statements of intent, which will then be drawn together by GIFT to produce a consensus document which will, we all hope, go some way to ensuring that the often intimidating and worrying process of switching from pediatric to adult care is approached in the same manner by all hospitals on both side of the transfer.

“It was a really interesting day,” Oli says, “We all just hope that it may go some way to avoiding the headaches and stresses that some young people have experienced going through transition.”

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