Staying healthy as an adult
Take control of your care as you move on up to adult health services.
It was this huge room. The doctor said ‘follow me in’, and I thought he meant just him. And then everybody followed in like a big parade. I thought ‘what’s going on here?!’ They made me get half undressed and stand on a mat, and ludicrously attempt to make a few steps in from of all these health professionals.
They were talking about me, kind of whispering like I didn’t understand and I was invisible. This was supposed to be the gateway into adult services, and they weren’t treating me like an adult at all. I just wanted it to be over.
‘Answer these questions, do as we say!’ Like the physio would ask me her question and before she’d finished, the speech and language therapist would come in, or orthotics would come in. Everyone piling in on me. They weren’t treating me like a person at all, a human being.
But I am independent, making my own choices every day. You should always get your voice heard, but my point of view wasn’t worth hearing. If I’d have known my rights, I would have spoken out. I would just like them to treat me with more respect, with more compassion, with more dignity.
I’ve always known my dreams and where I want to go in life. It’s all my journey, nobody else’s.
What do NHS staff say?
"I don't want young people to drop out"
Dr Duncan Law
Consultant Clinical Psychologist
"A health service rather than an illness service"
Speech and Language Therapist
Find out about the Ready Steady Go Transition Programme
Dr Arvind Nagra,
Consultant Paediatric Nephrologist
Children in care
Local authorities and the NHS should work together to help you make healthy decisions. When you are 16 they should work together to make sure you are supported by the NHS services you need when you leave care. This planning should start when you are 14 and you should be involved in planning with health professionals and social workers.
You can find about leaving care here.
What about my parents and carers?
If you use lots of different services your mum, dad or carer can help you manage. But the NHS should make sure everyone knows what you want, not just what your parents think.
As you get older the NHS should help you get ready for adult services, where you will be in charge of your health. This might mean your parents take a step back, and health professionals start supporting you to make decisions about the future.