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Staying Positive workshops help young people cope with health conditions

3 September 2009

An award-winning series of workshops aimed at helping young people get to grips with long-term health conditions has been launched between the Expert Patient Programme Community Interest Company (EPP CIC) and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust (GOSH).

Staying Positive - a free workshop for young people aged between 12 and 18 years of age, run by young people living with a health condition of their own - is now set to be offered to patients attending GOSH following its launch today (Thursday 3 September).

 The workshops run over three weekly sessions and are designed to increase young people’s skills, confidence and the ability to manage their condition.  Staying Positive has also been shown to help people gain new perspectives, increase awareness of their conditions and improve the way in which they interact with medical professionals.

Stephen Jacobs, Chair of EPP CIC, said: “Growing up is tough enough – even without having to cope with long-term health conditions - and the teenage years also mark the time in which self-management skills tend to decline. Once this has occurred it’s a hard pattern to break and this can have a negative impact on quality of life and lead to increased demands on health, education and social services.

“That is why it is absolutely fantastic that Staying Positive is now set to be offered by one of the world’s leading children’s hospitals and that young people who attend the hospital are set to benefit from these free courses.”

The workshops which will be promoted by the hospital will not take place on-site, but at an alternative location allowing participants to express emotions and views they might not otherwise have the chance to.

Jane Collins, Chief Executive of GOSH, said: “We are delighted we are now able to offer the Staying Positive workshops to young people attending the hospital.

“Self-management support is vital and Staying Positive can make a real, positive impact on the lives of young people living with long-term health conditions and also provides them with an opportunity to meet other people in a similar situation - which can in itself be a hugely beneficial.” 

The GOSH workshops will take place on Saturday 10 October, Saturday 24 October and Saturday 7 November.

An external evaluation, conducted by Oxford University (Oct 2007) revealed that Staying Positive workshops increase young people’s skills, confidence and ability to manage their condition. In particular the workshops help young people to:

  • understand the importance of talking to doctors directly rather than relying on their parents
  • become aware of the importance of self care and the consequences of poor management
  • gain new perspectives and ways of thinking about dealing with the difficulties they face in their daily lives, e.g. taking medication, coping with school work
  • build confidence through meeting other young people with a chronic condition and reduce feelings of isolation

The launch was attended by Frank Dobson, MP.

Contact information:

GOSH-ICH Press Office: 020 7239 3125
Email: Coxs@gosh.nhs.uk
For genuine and urgent out of hours call speak to switchboard on 020 7405 9200

For further information on the GOSH Staying Positive Workshops or EPP CIC, please contact Linsey White, National Press Officer on 0207 922 7860 or via email at Linsey.white@eppcic.co.uk

Notes to editors

Staying Positive is a programme created and run by young people for young people living with long term conditions. Staying Positive has both health and social benefits for young people. They learn new skills which help them better manage their condition, they meet new people and get support from others with similar life experience and gain confidence in relationships with friends, family and professionals.

The Government’s recently published Child Health Strategy: Healthy Lives, Brighter Future (DCSF,DoH 2009) promotes the development of self management programmes for children and young people coping with disability, a long-term condition or other complex health needs. The Staying Positive Programme is highlighted as an example of good practice in this Strategy.

The Staying Positive programme was recently awarded the Guardian Public Services Award (Nov 2008) for service delivery in the category of long-term conditions.

The Expert Patients Programme Community Interest Company (EPP CIC) is a not for profit social enterprise.  Originally born out of the NHS, EPP CIC was established independently in April 2007 to provide self management courses for people living with any long term health condition (s) through the NHS and other organisations.

EPP CIC was created to enable people to have greater access to free courses which are designed to support them in improving the day to day management of their long term health condition.  EPP courses are aimed at a wide range of people, reflecting diversity in terms of different health conditions, age groups, ethnicity and location. Courses are designed to enable people to take control of their health by learning new skills through tried and tested techniques, which increases confidence, thereby making them less dependent on health and social care.   EPP CIC trainers, with personal experience of living with a long-term condition, deliver the courses at a regional level, as well as training volunteer course tutors.

EPP CIC aim to make self-management as accessible as possible for the 15.4 million people living with long-term conditions in England.

Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust is the country’s leading centre for treating sick children, with the widest range of specialists under one roof.

With the UCL Institute of Child Health, we are the largest centre for paediatric research outside the US and play a key role in training children’s health specialists for the future.

Our charity needs to raise £50 million every year to help rebuild and refurbish Great Ormond Street Hospital, buy vital equipment and fund pioneering research. With your help we provide world class care to our very ill children and their families.