Roald Dahl Nurse Giselle reflects on the Roald Dahl 'Transition of Care' Nursing Conference and what having a specialist nurse can do for young people moving from child to adult healthcare services.
Giselle Padmore-Payne is a Roald Dahl Lead Transition Clinical Nurse Specialist at King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Last week, she co-hosted Roald Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity's Roald Dahl Nursing Conference. The theme for this year's event was 'Transition of Care'.
We asked Giselle some marvellous questions as we look back at this most marvellous event.
What does being a Roald Dahl Nurse mean to you?
Being a Roald Dahl Nurse means that I am in a privileged position to advocate for my transitioning young adults and the families on my caseload. I am also empowering patients, carers and staff through teaching and education. My aim is to standardise transition care, not only in my trust, but across the South Thames Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia network, with the never-ending, unwavering support from the Roald Dahl team this can be achieved. Young adults should have a comprehensive care pathway, that is seamless from paediatric to adult services.
What's the importance of 'The Transition of Care' Conference for you and your role?
The conference was a great opportunity to gain perspectives in best practice from experts within the transition care provision teams/Trusts across the country. It was an excellent opportunity to network and form supportive and information-sharing networks and groups. It was also a great opportunity to learn about new and upcoming changes and pathways, raising awareness for transition.
What did being involved as the conference's marvellous hosts mean to you?
This was a fantastic opportunity. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be doing something like this. It was a great opportunity to push myself and a chance to gain new skills and abilities. It was also a chance to showcase how important my role as a transition clinical nurse specialist is and the difference the role makes to young adults and their families. I was quite nervous but I did my best.
Why is it so important that healthcare professionals and the general public get behind funding more Transition Specialist roles?
Without excellent transition care provision, patients with chronic conditions are at risk of dying earlier than the general population. There is research that indicates that a higher mortality and morbidity rate happens between the age of 18-30 if patients are not transitioned seamlessly. Seamless transition also helps to alleviate the financial burden on the NHS as prevention of acute hospitals admissions and chronic issues become significantly less.
What are the biggest challenges you face in your role as a Transition Nurse Specialist?
Bridging the gap between adult and paediatric teams. I found it very hard to get everyone on board initially. It isn't possible all the time - as you're dealing with different personalities in such a big team, so I have learnt to use a majority vote approach. Rolling out pathways and protocols can be a challenge and engaging young adults in transition workshops can be difficult. I have now changed these to a Saturday to facilitate less school absence.
What did you most enjoy about the conference?
Getting together with my Roald Dahl clinical nurse specialist colleagues and Roald Dahl charity staff. I also enjoyed networking and hearing expert presentations and patients and parent stories.
If you have any advice for new Roald Dahl Nurses what would it be?
Set out what you would like to achieve. Involve patients, carers and staff in service changes and developments and patient and staff information. Network and utilise other specialists, don't re-invent the wheel. Start a Patient Support Group if there isn't one already and help raise awareness of Roald Dahl Nurses using social media with the help and support for the Roald Dahl charity team. Always advocate for your patients and their families - putting patients at the heart of care is the only way forward.
If you can describe what being a Roald Dahl Nurse means for families in your care what would it be?
A parent described me as their magic wand and that I make things happen. I have been called a lifeline as well.
Is there anything else you would like to add about your role, the conference and or transition in general?
I feel privileged to be a part of the Roald Dahl Nurse team and network. I love what I am able to do for patients and their families as a Roald Dahl Specialist Nurse. You can achieve anything great when you have a team that supports you, your aims and ambitions 1000 times over. I couldn't do my job and support seriously ill children, young adults and their families without the constant support of my Programmes Manager Sophie and the rest of the amazing team. A seamless pathway for transition is achieved through advocacy, education, awareness, networking and working together.
Find out more about the incredible work Roald Dahl Nurses do to support over 21,000 children and families facing serious illness.