Quality Services and Support for Young People with Skin Problems
by Oxford University Hospital
Skin conditions are common in adolescence and can have considerable psychological and emotional burden. However, young people’s needs are not always best served by clinical services and resources. The Department of Health has identified the specialised needs of adolescents transitioning from paediatric to adult services as a priority, yet there are few dedicated dermatology clinics in the UK providing appropriate psychosocial support to address emotional needs. Similarly, resources are often lacking for this traditionally hard-to-reach age group and fail to involve and engage them. This Oxford University Hospital project focused on providing emotional support for young people through several innovative outputs. The first was the local service development of a designated clinic with embedded psychological support. Next, suitable resources were developed with input from young people with skin conditions, including development of the healthtalk.org website to share young people’s experiences. Dissemination nationally and internationally ensured that the voices of young people were heard. These low-cost interventions have shown positive impacts with far-reaching consequences for an often-neglected group of young patients with skin conditions.
"The Oxford University Hospital’s project was fantastic and a stand-out winner. A good service, designed for teenagers, where there is a lack of support. It really resonated with the judges. The judges have seen patients who are transitioning from children’s’ hospital care into the adult environment and they don’t get a lot of support. Transitional care is a thorny one to crack and this entry did that! "