Libby had regular outpatient appointments to monitor her progress, disease control and plan her treatment regimes. She had regular contact with the MDT and access to the nurse specialists through the telephone helpline.
She attended clinics with her mum and was encouraged to see the doctor on her own for part of the consultation. She was also encouraged to talk to the nurse specialists 1-1 and then also with her mum present. She developed rapport with the team and expressed concerns about side effects of her treatment (weight gain, striae and irregular periods) and the impact of her disease on schooling and peer relationships.
The team talked about her concerns and planned to work with Libby and her mum to liaise with school to plan her return to education, helping her to liaise with her teachers to address fatigue with a phased return to school, rationalising her timetable and help with 'catch-up' for her school lessons. There was also input from the physical therapists to help her with her exercise regime and building up of stamina. The nurse liaised with the psychologist to support Libby with her self-esteem and build up her confidence again with her peers. Education about her disease and treatments was an important way to help her understand the management plan and to reassure her that the weight gain was reversible and that the striae would fade with time.
Over the next few months she made considerable progress especially as her steroids were weaned.
Libby's case highlights many aspects of transitional care (e.g., consultation without parent, confidentiality, HEADSSS, self-esteem)
More information about transitional care is available.