The Scottish Paediatric and Adolescent Rheumatology Network (SPARN) and the Scottish Society for Rheumatology (SSR) hosted a conference at The Lighthouse in Glasgow on 15 March 2019.

The interdisciplinary audience from across Scotland enjoyed a day of high-quality education: Dr Rachel Tattersall and Dr Lisa Dunkley from Sheffield delivered an excellent overview of developmentally appropriate healthcare; Dr Arvind Nagra from Southampton shared her experience of the Ready Steady Go, Hello programme.

Our Devolved Nations Liaison Officer Lauren Bennie attended the conference on behalf of the British Society for Rheumatology to better understand patient, parent and child experiences and challenges through rheumatology transition. 

Lauren says the youth-led communication techniques for health professionals to use during consultations with young people were a particularly invaluable learning outcome for attendees. The tips helped them to pick up age-appropriate skills to communicate with patients transferring from paediatric to adult services. Tips included:

  • Make the conversation feel casual

  • Don't just read off a sheet

  • If the young person is not communicating, give us a smile

  • If something like mindfulness isn't working for me, please stop offering it

  • Ask me how I am feeling

There were well-received sessions on vocational OT, teenage joint injection, networks and transition, paediatric registries, as well as a dedicated Workshop on Adolescent Consultation for rheumatology trainees.

Charitable colleagues from SNAC, Versus Arthritis, Your Rheum and The Teapot Trust joined the meeting. Contemporary surroundings encouraged networking between paediatric and adult rheumatology teams. This successful collaboration will enhance and promote effective transition for young people with rheumatic disease nationally.