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  24 days

Aintree’s Rheumatology team has proudly launched its Young Ambassadors scheme, which sees the service’s younger patients champion the great work done to help them transition from child to adult healthcare services.

Sophie, Jemima, Olivia, Declan and Jack are the quintet advocating Aintree’s department and all have either lupus or arthritis, diseases which can cause symptoms like joint pain and inflammation, breathing problems and muscle weakness.

Dr Cristina Estrach, Clinical Director for Rheumatology at Aintree, said: “Our department has a very well established transition service for patients who have had the likes of lupus or arthritis since childhood and have been  under the care of Alder Hey Hospital. It can be overwhelming to make the move from familiar faces and surroundings designed for children to an adult hospital like Aintree. Our Young Ambassadors will share their experiences  to help provide reassurance to our future intake of younger patients who are making that transition to adult healthcare settings..”

Sophie, 20, who lives in Clitherow, Lancashire and has lupus, a disease that sees the body’s immune system attack its own tissues and organs, transitioned to Aintree two years ago from Alder Hey.

She said: “It was easy for me to choose Aintree as the hospital to provide my future care. From my initial meeting with the team they have always listened to my opinion and appreciated my situation. My views were taken on board when staff reviewed the young person’s clinic, a specialist space that eases young people, like myself, into adult services. I owe Aintree a great deal.”

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