Hospices across Essex and North East London are working together to ease the transition from children to adult services for the families and young people they support.

Haven House Children’s Hospice held a Transition Information Day on Wednesday 13 January to support parents of Haven House children aged 14 and older to make decisions about transition services with their child.

Essex services that supported the event included the J’s Hospice service based in Chelmsford. North East London partners included a number of local adult respite units and the Transition Team from the London Borough of Waltham Forest. They were also joined by professionals from Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust.

Lifelites - a national children’s charity that supplies specialist technology for children with disabilities and life-limiting conditions to Haven House and other children’s hospices - also had a presence.

Parents attending the event received a presentation from Haven House nurse Clare Anderson, the Transition Lead. They also had the opportunity to discuss their hopes and fears around transition and visit information stalls from adult service providers in the hospice’s Holistic Care Centre.

Eileen White, Interim Director of Care at Haven House, said: “Increasing numbers of young people with life-limiting conditions are living longer. This means the transition from children’s services into adult services can be daunting for families and young people.

“At Haven House we have a dedicated transition team who work closely with families to ensure they have the confidence and knowledge to make decisions about care for their child up to their 19th birthday.

“Our Transition Information Day was an important opportunity to raise awareness about the support services available to parents whose children are approaching adulthood and to enable professionals to network and collaborate to support families.

“We are grateful to our partner organisations for attending the event and taking the time to speak with our parents.”

Feedback from parents and professionals alike was very positive. One participant described it as “really beneficial” to see “plans and ideas regarding transition”, and another commented on the benefit of being able to interact with “other professionals from various local authorities, transition teams, specialist services and parents.”

The success of the day means the hospice plans to hold a further event in May 2016.

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