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Transition to adult kidney services

This page is for young people who want to know more about the transition from the children's kidney service at Evelina London to adult services.

'Transition' is how we describe the gradual process of transferring you from our kidney service at Evelina London Children's Hospital, to adult services.

It happens over several years and involves both the children's and adult teams working together.

Graduating from children’s to adult care can seem a scary thought as you move to a new team responsible for your health needs. We support young people and their families to prepare them for their move to adult services.

More about your transfer

When does transition begin and end?

13-14 years old

Transition usually starts in early teenage years. We encourage you to see your health professional on your own for part of the consultation, with parents invited to join for part. Transition is not about excluding parents, but about preparing you for how you will experience your care once you turn 18.

Turning 16 and the young adult clinic

A young adult clinic is held twice a month at the Guy’s adult kidney clinic and all our kidney patients are invited to this once they reach their 16th birthday. There’s a young adult kidney care coordinator who helps patients make the transition to the adult service.

You can attend the young adult clinic for up to two years before you transfer to adult services. In the early months it’s about peer and parental support with a change of environment and the children’s team will still be responsible for your care until you turn 18.

For further information, please discuss with your clinical nurse specialist or contact:

  • Vanda Fairchild, young adult kidney care co-ordinator, Guy’s Hospital
    Tel: 020 7188 7188 ext 52722 / 07581 621 930
    Email: vanda.fairchild@gstt.nhs.uk.

Young adults with specific learning needs may require additional support during this time which will be discussed on an individual basis.

After your 18th birthday

After you turn 18, the only major change with your kidney care is the change of responsibility to the adult specialist team and their inpatient services. You’ll continue to attend the young adult clinic either until you are 25 or until you choose to attend a regular adult clinic.

Depending on individual needs, transfer to adult care may be to a local service near where you live, or go to university. If you have stable transplant function, you’ll also have the option of choosing to attend the Guy’s adult kidney unit.

What is transition for?

Transition is to support you to become more involved in your care. It's also there to help you be more independent in managing your condition and the care you need. You may already know lots about your condition and the treatments you've had but in the transition period you’ll learn more about:

  • skills you need to independently look after yourself and to successfully use adult health care services
  • your kidney/bladder condition: what it is; how it affects you on a daily basis
  • what care and treatment you’ve had and what you may need in the future
  • more about the medicines you are prescribed
  • about lifestyle issues such as the impact alcohol, smoking and recreational drugs would have on your condition and treatment
  • about family planning and issues about future pregnancy.

You’ll be able to ask questions at any time if there are things you want to know more about, or things that concern you.

Your parents can come to clinic with you for as long as you want them to.

Can I see the doctor or nurse on my own if I want to?

We encourage you to see the doctor or nurse on your own when you feel ready and will be suggesting this from your early teenage years.

We’re not expecting you to have your entire consultation on your own but initially just for short periods during your appointment, with your parents joining the consultation towards the end.

Anything you discuss with your doctor or nurse will be treated confidentially. This means it will not be discussed with any one else without your permission, unless we have serious concerns about your safety.

If I have to be admitted to hospital, where will I stay?

You remain a patient at Evelina London until you’re transferred to adult services when you turn 18. If you attend the young adult clinic at Guy's Hospital (between 16-18 years) and need hospital admission you will still be admitted to Evelina London Children’s Hospital.

Once you’ve transferred to adult services, if you need hospital admission, you will be admitted to the adult wards at your new hospital. It’s a good idea to visit the adult inpatient wards at Guy’s and St Thomas’ before the need for admission arrives. Please ask for a tour when you are attending a young adult clinic.

If you’re transferring to a different hospital, an informal visit to its adult service can be arranged when you can go for a look around and meet some of the staff, before you decide to move your care there.

What happens if I move away from home when I'm older?

If you go away to university, it’s important for you to have a doctor near your university who knows about your condition and can help you if you become unwell.

Your routine care can usually remain either at the Guy’s young adult clinic or at your local adult kidney unit, who will work with you to arrange routine follow-up appointments during holiday times.

Who can I contact to talk about transition?

If you'd like more information about moving to adult kidney services, contact a member of your specialist team:

  • Vanda Fairchild, young adult kidney nurse
    Tel: 020 7188 7188 ext 52722 / 07581 621 930
    Email: vanda.fairchild@gstt.nhs.uk
  • Emma Rigby, nephrology clinical nurse specialist
    Tel: 020 7188 6714
  • Pernille Rasmussen, chronic kidney disease clinical nurse specialist
    Tel: 020 7188 4605
  • Carmen Barton, matron, dialysis
    Tel: 020 7188 4526
  • Grainne Walsh, transplant advanced nurse practitioner
    Tel: 020 7188 4590
  • Cathy Gill, senior play specialist
    Tel: 020 7188 4590

Young adult kidney nurse

Vanda Fairchild

Tel: 020 7188 7188 ext 52722 / 07581 621 930

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