Preparing for adult health services: video transcript

In our preparing for adult health services video, teenagers who have been treated at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) talk about the transition.  You can read the transcript of the video below.

Alice: "Hi, my name’s Alice and I’ve been coming to GOSH since I was two. I have started to think about moving to adult services because I’m 16 now, and I know it won’t be long before I have to move. I’m really nervous about moving hospitals but I’m also quite excited for a new change."

Nigel Mills, Adolescent Clinical Nurse Specialist: "For some young people, it can be a really difficult time getting ready for adult services. They’ve been coming here for a long time, they’re very used to the staff here and it can be very strange going to a new hospital with new people, and this is why the process of transition is so important, getting you ready so you meet your adult service and you know where you’re going."

Alice: "So, I wanted to know, what’s roughly the maximum age you can stay at this hospital?"

Nigel: "There are different ages. It depends what speciality you’re under unfortunately. For most people, around 18 is the maximum age you can be at Great Ormond Street Hospital."

Alice: "How long roughly does transition take?"

Nigel: "Ideally, we should start talking to you about moving to adult services when you’re 11 or 12, so you’ll have maybe six years when we’re preparing you for adult services."

Alice: "What kind of things do I need to think about, and what questions should I ask?"

Nigel: "Anything and everything you think of. Anything you might be worried about, just ask."

Jack: "My name’s Jack and I’m 13. I’ve been coming to Great Ormond Street Hospital for about a year now. When the consultant said, ‘when you’re round about 16 or 17, you’ll have to move’ I got scared but then I thought I’m going to have to get ready for it and be prepared for what happens."

Adam: "Hi, I’m Adam, I’m 18 years old and I have brittle bone disease. I left Great Ormond Street Hospital when I was about 17 years old. I started moving to adult hospitals and I found it quite interesting at the time."

Nigel: "We like to think in paediatrics that we’re very soft and gentle and look after you well and do everything for you. It’s no different in adult services but the emphasis is much more on you being independent and taking care of yourself and knowing much more about what’s going on and taking responsibility for your own life."

What to expect

Alice: "I’m a bit nervous moving to a different hospital because I’m worried I won’t get the same treatment as I do here."

Adam: "When I first moved to adult care, it was nerve wrecking as I wasn’t sure who my new consultant or the nurses on the new wards would be."

Jack: "I was thinking maybe the people there, that you’re going to get some old people and they were going to be grumpy and they weren’t going to be as nice to you, but I don’t think it’ll be that bad."

Adam: "When I first arrived, it was really nice and reassuring because I realised the staff were just as nice and keen to treat me as they are at Great Ormond Street Hospital."

Taking over from your parents

Jack: "I need to start getting more mature, and asking more questions so I get used to being by myself."

Nigel: "When you move to adult services, you’re much more responsible for your own care. Letters and things will be addressed to you. Your parents won’t have as much information coming to them as they’re used to having."

Alice: "My parents are currently organising my appointments and call my doctors to reschedule and I know that when I move to my new hospital, I’m going to have to be doing all of this myself."

Adam: "At my adult hospital, the doctors and nurses treat me as opposed to talking to my parents about me. I feel I’m a lot more included in decisions and what’s going on. I feel a lot more independent."

Part of growing up

Alice: "I’m excited about meeting new people, meeting new people at the hospital, meeting the staff and my new doctor."

Jack: "Now I’m starting to go to the shops and that by myself so I get used to talking to people by myself."

Adam: "I felt an adult ward was more appropriate for me than being around younger children."

Alice: "This makes me feel like I’m really growing up."

What you need to know

Alice: "I need to know about my medical history and the medicines that I’m taking now. This will make it easier for both me and my new doctors."

Adam: "I feel a great deal of independence, taking responsibility for my own healthcare. I can literally take myself to hospital when necessary and at times I don’t even need to tell family. Sometimes I feel they worry more than we do."

Being independent

Nigel: "We’re here to help you all the way. A lot of teams have special clinics for transition and others will have adolescent clinics, where transition will be discussed. We also have a range of literature to help. Ask your team - they’ll provide you with the information you need."

Alice: "I’ve already started to have some treatment at my new, future hospital and I feel really good about this because I know that the treatment’s really good there."

Adam: "I understand that there could be some of you out there that are more worried than I aws when I went through my transition. The main thing I would say is, just keep your head held high, be confident and look forward to it. It’s a new experience and it will be fine in the long run."

Top tips  

  • talk to your doctor or nurses about your transition
  • spend time with them on your own
  • learn about your medicines
  • learn about your medical history
  • find out what you can expect in the future