Supporting young adults living with terminal illness

by Elaine Hill
Hospice Manager, Marie Curie Hospice, Bradford

Elaine Hill, Hospice Manager, Marie Curie Hospice, BradfordToday we’re delighted to be hosting Supporting Young Adults with Life-Limiting Conditions – Transition and Beyond at the Marie Curie Hospice, Bradford. The event, which takes place during Hospice Care Week, will look at how we can best support terminally ill young people transition from care provided by a children’s hospice to an adult environment.

Due to the complex palliative care needs of young adults – those over 18 but under 35 – it is not uncommon for many to receive care and support from a children’s hospice. As there is limited specialist care in Bradford to support young adults living with terminal illness, many travel to Martin’s House Children’s Hospice, which is outside Bradford in Boston Spa. 35% of Martin’s House patients are from Bradford and the oldest patient there is 31. There is simply nowhere else to go.

A new taskforce

Clearly, a children’s hospice is not the ideal environment for a young adult and can create added anxiety to an already difficult situation. We recognise this growing need to help the transition process in Bradford and are proud to have joined with Martin’s House and other local stakeholders to create a new Transition Taskforce. The taskforce, which has already started work, is looking at ways to increase the quality and ease of support available to young people in the Bradford area.

An early initiative under consideration is to hold day clinics for outpatients at the Marie Curie Hospice. Apart from providing space, we will also be training our hospice clinicians so they can better support young adults living with terminal illness in the community.

That is why I am so excited about today’s event. I’m looking forward to hearing about new ideas and initiatives and using the taskforce to meet the growing need for care now and in the future.