Hospices launch care scheme

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Boston Spa-based Martin House Children’s Hospice and York-based St Leonard’s Hospice have joined forces to offer a brand new model of care for young adults in Yorkshire.

The Hospices identified the need to provide something different for teenagers and young adults aged between 18 and 35 years to help them live well and enable a smooth transition into the world of adult care.

From this week the two organisations will provide an integrated, holistic form of day care, offering social, psychological and medical input with consideration for all aspects of care, including the illness itself, relationships, housing and employment.

Emma Johnson, Clinical Director at St Leonard’s Hospice, said: “The focus here is on person-centred care. The social element is vital for young adults with life-limiting illnesses who can feel socially isolated. Meeting people, sharing information and getting the right support from professionals and peers is key to developing relationships and enhancing social skills. This can help young people feel listened to and valued.”

The pilot sessions will take place one Tuesday each month at The Sunflower Centre at St Leonard’s Hospice and run as part of a two-year pilot project.

They will be led by a doctor and a clinical psychologist from Martin House, together with staff from St Leonard’s. Four members of care staff from Martin House Hospice will be present to help with activities and personal care.

Dr Jan Aldridge, Consultant Clinical Psychologist at Martin House explained: “The collaborative work with St Leonard’s is a wonderful opportunity for our teams to share experiences and improve services for young adults across the region. We are looking forward to working with the young people on shaping and developing this service.”

The sharing of staff and skills between the two hospices will allow time to explore issues facing young adults with life-limiting illnesses.

And it will provide access to a team of professionals with a wide range of experiences and skills that can help pre-empt problems.

A spokesman for the scheme added: “The two hospices believe that part of living well is the ability to meet people, socialise and have fun while trying out and pursuing activities and interests such as graffiti art, cooking, gaming and music making.

The scheme will be reviewed after two years.