Working with young people to improve communication and prepare them for transfer to adult services
This case study describes how the team in Newcastle working on the Health Foundation’s MAGIC programme to implement shared decision making worked with the children’s rheumatology service at Newcastle Hospitals Children’s Services to support new approaches to communicating with young people and preparing them to transfer to adult services.
The work focused on looking at how young people could be encouraged to be more involved during consultations; and how to prepare them for the transition to adult services. To address these issues the team introduced:
- Question cards: Nurse specialists now use the informal pre-consultation chat with young patients to find out what their concerns and issues are. Nurse specialists attach ‘question cards’ to the patient record and the doctor uses them to guide the consultation.
- Question of the month: Each month a sample question is stuck across laminated posters displayed in waiting areas to encourage patients to ask common questions. There are different poster versions, designed in collaboration with the MAGIC team, aimed at teenagers and younger children.1
- Ask 3 questions flyer:2 The MAGIC team had already developed ‘Ask 3 Questions’ flyers to encourage people to ask 3 questions during their consultations with their health professional. The MAGIC team has supported the service to modify these so that they are more appealing to young people. The flyers have proved popular with older teenagers who are supported to write down what they want to ask during their consultation e.g. one young man wanted to know what the benefits and risks would be if he stopped taking his medication
As a result:
- You’re Welcome (the Department of Health’s quality criteria for young people friendly health services) accreditation achieved by the service
- Launching modified (young person friendly) Ask 3 Questions flyers to all departments in the Great North Children’s Hospital
- Consultations are effective and shorter and the service has begun to schedule three additional out-patient appointments per session