Senior Clinical Psychologist Dr Anna Elderton shares her top tips for a successful transition to adult care

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Dr Anna Elderton is a Senior Clinical Psychologist at the Oxford Children’s Hospital CF Centre. We caught up with her to learn more about her career, her work with CF and her top tips for a successful transition to adult care!

Please could you tell us about your role? 

I’ve worked in paediatric CF care at Oxford Children’s Hospital for about ten years as a clinical psychologist. I support children with a whole range of things to help them understand and cope with their condition, such as adherence, changes in their condition, experiences of anxiety, mood difficulties, managing medical procedures, eating, and sleep. I also support parents’ well-being. 

What do young people and their parents often find hard about the transition to adult care? 

Every young person and family are different, but we do notice themes around transition. For young people, the idea of not seeing a team of people they know well and instead having to talk to unfamiliar people about their health and potentially sensitive topics can be more daunting. Young people are sometimes unsure about the practicalities of appointments; for instance, where will I go? What will I be expected to know or do or say? Research tells us that parents often worry more about transition than young people! Moving from a team that you know and have trusted with your child’s care, often since birth, can understandably be difficult. 

What are your top tips for preparing for a successful transition? 

• Firstly, be kind to yourself – transition can be a big change, and some people feel more ready for it than others. 

• Remind yourself that transition is a process, not an event.

• Your voice as a young person really matters in this process! Try to be actively involved in decision-making about your care. 

• If you have the chance to attend a joint transition clinic, give it a go and ask any questions you have. We know that meeting your adult team and getting answers to questions reduces anxiety for most people. 

• If you are experiencing more worry and anxiety than feels manageable, talk to the psychologist in your team.

Find out more about transitioning into adult CF care, or get in touch with our information and support team at [email protected]

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