New team will support young people through transition

Issued by NHS Highland

A new team of health and social care professionals has been established to support young people with a disability who are likely to require planning and support in transition from children to adult services.

Young people aged between 14 and 25 were traditionally supported by Highland Council’s children’s services and NHS Highland’s adult services.

The new transitions team will provide a consistent platform for young people, parents and carers at what can be a challenging time in a young person’s life.

Nicola Stewart, transitions team manager, said: “The team has been set up in response to recognising that the transition period can be difficult for young people and their families and carers.

“There are a lot of changes in a young person’s life during that period, such as leaving full-time education and starting employment, and we don’t want the process of transitioning from one service to another to exacerbate that.

“The overarching vision for the team is to take young people living in the Inner Moray Firth area through the process of transition and to support them in a more consistent way than has been possible in the past.”

Transitions team manager Stella Chisholm said: “The establishment of the team will provide the opportunity for the one service to support an individual from 14 years of age all the way through to 25.

“This is a fantastic example of joint working. Our team of 16 staff comprises of both Highland Council and NHS Highland employees coming together in one team in the same building. We will learn each other’s systems and legislation so we can fully support families.”

Previously, young people would be referred to adult services at 14 and follow a joint transitions policy between Highland Council and NHS Highland.

This process did not always meet the desired outcomes of each individual and meant that young people and their families could be working with a number of different professionals during a challenging time in a persons’ life.

“It’s important to stress that this isn’t a new resource,” Nicola explained. “We haven’t secured additional staff. We have pulled an enthusiastic team from existing resources available to both organisations.

“I think this will be a positive move for everyone. We can pull together a lot of valuable experience in both children’s and adult’s services into one setting and become a specialist service that provides a high-quality level of care for young people and their families and carers.”

Stella added: “I think it’s a massive step in the right direction. It will be better for young people coming through to know that one team will support them through their transition.

“It will also benefit parents and carers because they will have a consistent point of contact with one team and all of the necessary skills and knowledge in the one location.”

11 Jul 2018
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