We are fortunate that we can build on the fantastic model Ready Steady Go devised by our colleague Dr Arvind Nagra at Southampton Hospital. Through our passion for Transition we formed a collaboration with the Thames Valley Strategic Clinical Network who were interested in our approach. Through this work we received some funding to support a Transition Project Lead (for a year) to implement this project as a sustainable process at OUH.
Every year we treat thousands of children at our hospitals, many with complex and chronic conditions requiring ongoing care from childhood through to adulthood. Thankfully, the majority of children receive their treatment, go home and everything is okay. As teenagers approach their 18th birthday, they are moved from children’s health services into adult services. We try to make that transition for our patients as smooth as possible with the ‘Ready, Steady, Go’ programme which helps patients and their families feel ready and confident to make the move into adult health care services.
The programme has been set up to help empower young people and adults manage their healthcare by equipping them with skills, knowledge and confidence. From the age of 11 our young people are given checklists to discuss with their nurse/doctor. This is the ‘Ready‘ checklist and includes questions on daily living, health and lifestyle, managing emotions, and school and the future. It gives young people the chance to ask more questions about specific areas of their care and make notes of certain things they are not clear on. Once the checklist has been completed and all questions have been answered with a yes, the patient moves on to the ‘Steady‘ checklist at around the age of 14. This, again, includes questions on the young person’s care which they will need to be aware of before they transition into adult services, such as self-advocacy and leisure.
The final stage of the programme is the ‘Go‘ checklist which makes sure the young person is 100% confident about their condition including knowledge of prescriptions and appointments, attending clinics, understanding the importance of health and an active lifestyle, ability for independent daily living, and the meaning of transitioning into adult health care services. The Go questionnaire also highlights the need for the young person and their family to understand their care plan and how the plan will take shape as they move into adult services.
Patients and staff talk about the Ready, Steady, Go transition programme
with kind permission of University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust