Long Term Follow-up
The Long Term Follow Up clinic at Birmingham Children’s Hospital is for all children and young people who have completed their treatment for cancer, or had treatment with chemotherapy or radiotherapy for another diagnosis.
Once you are 18 years of age, you will be transferred to the Late Effects Service at the University Hospital Birmingham where you will be continued to be followed up.
Why do I need to attend the Long Term Follow Up clinic?
Now that you are a number of years from the end of your treatment, and you no longer need regular investigations or scans you have been moved to the Long Term Follow-Up clinic. The Long Term Follow-up Team will monitor you for any possible long term problems related to the treatment you received.
Attending regular follow up clinics enables any problems that may arise from your previous treatment to be picked up early and dealt with straight away.
There will be a focus on your long term follow up needs related to your treatment, such as your growth and development, on-going general health and wellbeing, health education plus any specific investigations and information that you may require.
Follow up care will continue into your adult life but the frequency may change depending on your individual health needs.
You can find more information about finishing treatment and long term follow up here:
Who will I see?
When you attend clinic you will meet members of the Late Effects team. This may include doctors and nurses either from Birmingham Children’s Hospital or University Hospital Birmingham and the health and well-being coordinator.
You will be allocated a key worker who will be your point of contact if you have any queries and who will help coordinate your care.
Nurse Led Follow Up
You may attend a clinic that is run by an Advanced Nurse Practitioner who is specially trained in monitoring for the late effects of treatment.
Consultant Led Follow Up
You may attend a clinic and see a doctor or a combination of the doctor and the Advanced Nurse Practitioner or other members of the Late Effects Team.
Postal Follow Up
If your follow-up team decides that you don’t need to come to clinic for regular check-ups anymore, we would still like to keep in touch. We can, with your agreement, transfer you onto postal follow-up. Further information about postal follow up can be found in a separate leaflet which will be given to you if it is appropriate.
What happens when I come to clinic?
The long term follow up team will:
- Give you a detailed summary of your diagnosis and the treatment you received.
- Help you to understand; your treatment, the potential problems that might occur in the future and what to expect during your follow up care.
- Encourage you to be more independent and begin to make your own decisions about your health.
- Give you advice about how to keep healthy.
Like most young people, you will probably start to think about the future and may want to ask questions such as:
- Why do I have to keep coming back?
- What are the medical tests for?
- How long will my follow up be for?
When you attend the clinic you will be given a questionnaire to fill out in the waiting area. This is called the Holistic Needs Assessment and includes aspects of physical and psychological health. The aim is to highlight any concerns you have. We will also ask you about your lifestyle e.g. diet and exercise. We will also offer support if you would like to make any changes.
What is Transition?
We want to encourage you to become as independent with your healthcare as you can be. We think that once you have started secondary school this is a good time to start thinking about some of the skills you will need to manage your future health.
We recognise that it is important to have time to learn and practise new skills and gradually take on more responsibility. Your keyworker for Long Term Follow Up and the Macmillan Health and Well-Being coordinator are here to support you.
We will give you a questionnaire asking how you feel about transition and what help and support you need before you move to adult services.
You may notice that we will talk more directly to you. When you feel ready and confident, we will encourage you to go into your consultation on your own. This is to encourage your independence and allowing you to discuss any concerns you have. You may feel nervous at first about the change, but we are here to help prepare you and make it easier with the move to adult care.
Anything you discuss is totally confidential. This means that what you say will only be discussed with your parents/carers if you want it to be.
We are mindful that your parents/carers have supported you for many years whilst coming back to Birmingham Children’s Hospital for check-ups, so it is important to us that they still feel involved. There will always be an opportunity for your parents/carers to discuss any issues that are important to them.
What can parents/carers do to help?
We hope that your parents/carers will be involved in the transition process.
They can help by:
Talking to you to help you understand about your previous condition and the treatment you received.
Explaining the reasons for you coming to the follow up clinic.
Encouraging you to ask questions and talk directly to the follow up team in clinic.
What happens when I am 18 years old?
Your care will be transferred to the Late Effects Clinic which is held at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, part of the University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.
The address is: Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, Mindelsohn Way, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2GW
Contact details for UHB Long term Follow-up team
Telephone: 0121 371 6950
Who is in the clinic?
Hopefully you will have met, and may even know very well, the doctors and clinical nurse specialist you will see at the University Hospital Birmingham, as many of the team members attend this clinic at both hospitals.
What differences can I expect?
The main difference between your visit to the Children’s Hospital and the adult hospital is that you, rather than your parents/carers, are in charge of your health.
You will be encouraged to see the doctor on your own, without your parents, for all or at least part of the visit. Hopefully you will have been prepared for this change when you were seen in the Transition Clinic at the Children’s Hospital.
You will also have a new set of notes. Your Children’s Hospital notes are not transferred – but don’t worry, the doctors will have all the information they need about your cancer and a treatment summary.
You may find that you are able to have more virtual or telephone consultations rather than face to face consultations and you can negotiate this with the team.
We hope your first visit to the Long Term Follow-up clinic will be successful.