UCLH has one of the most extensive portfolios of adolescent services in the UK. The adolescent team at UCLH believes that all young people should have access to age-appropriate services, which are responsive to their specific needs as they grow into adulthood.
Our team are specially trained to care for 13-18 year olds and have built up 15 years worth of experience. In addition we are using our wealth of experience to pioneer research in this age group.
We have a dedicated ward for 13 to 18 year olds which offers specialist inpatient and day care as well as a dedicated outpatient department. There is a hi-tech classroom on the ward in addition to outstanding recreational facilities in both the ward and outpatients.
We are unique in offering young people access to holistic care from an extensive multidisciplinary team. This specialist team includes physiotherapists, dieticians, occupational therapists, social workers, teachers, activity coordinators, specialist nurses, and a young people’s psychological health team.
We have clinicians who specialise in treating the following conditions for teenagers
- Weight management
- Chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalopathy
- Long-term complex conditions
- General services
We see approximately 1,250 patients in our outpatients department. Our current waiting time is approximately eight weeks for an outpatient appointment.
Patient support services
The Adolescent Unit
The Adolescent Unit aims to make the young person’s hospital journey as positive as possible, and recognises that each individual is unique with varying needs.
All patients receive the support of an expert multidisciplinary team (MDT). The team meet weekly to ensure regular communication between team members and support a holistic approach to patient care.
The multidisciplinary team consists of:
- Medical teams – We have clinicians who specialise in treating a wide variety of conditions for teenagers
- Nursing teams – All of our nurses are specially trained to care for 13-18 year olds. In addition we have an adolescent clinical nurse specialist who provides trust-wide specialist nursing advice for the general adolescent population. This includes staff training and teaching, nurse-led clinics, psycho-social support, parental support and guidance, patient advocacy and acting as the main point of contact for all young people across the trust.
- Activity coordinators – their role enables young people to cope better with their condition by offering them choice and control, and building their self esteem. Well equipped recreational areas also provide a valuable space to meet other patients undergoing similar treatment, this plays a vital role in facilitating peer support.
- Learning support – for long term patients staying on the ward a teacher is attached to the service and coordinates study with the patient’s school.
- Psychological support – is provided before, during and after treatment in response to the patients’ needs and requests. Work takes place with patients and their parents to help them understand the issues raised for them by their illess and its treatment, and to build their mental resistance.
- Physiotherapy – patients who need it have an individualised training programme designed to help improve muscle strength and stamina.
Occupational therapy – support allows patients to improve their quality of life by a mixture of group and individual work around personal care, functional and pyscho-social skills.
- Nutritional support – our dietician assesses nutritional needs of patients and advises them on how best these can be meet.
Social care – A senior social worker is based on the young peoples unit who is employed by University College Hospital to support young people and their families. This can include supporting communication between the patient’s family and the medical and nursing staff, benefits advice, housing advice and family or social problems.
- Support groups – There are two groups which take place each week and gives young people the opportunity to get to know each other and have a break away from their bed-space.