Teenage & Young Adult Unit

Treating our young patients in a designated space, with people their own age and facilities tailored to their needs is vitally important to their overall health and wellbeing

The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre’s dedicated Teenage and Young Adult (TYA) unit is an area dedicated to treating young people with cancer.

The TYA unit is located on the fifth floor of the Trust’s specialist cancer hospital Clatterbridge Cancer Centre - Liverpool and specialises in treating people with cancer between the ages of 16 and 24. Find out more about the TYA unit and team below and in this video diary by Libby, one of our patients.

Teenage and Young Adult Unit

Facilities available

The ward provides treatment for inpatients and outpatients. There’s currently four chairs to offer outpatient appointments and three inpatient beds.

The inpatient rooms all have en-suite facilities and convertible bed-chairs that allow loved ones to stay overnight in the room if needed. The rooms are modern and spacious.

The social area is exclusively for young people to mix with those of their own age. In this area patients can watch TV, play on games consoles or enjoy the activities that the Youth Support Coordinator organises.

Support available

Around 100 young patients are referred to The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre for treatment and support every year. The TYA unit gives young people the opportunity to get to know one another with communal social spaces, peer-to-peer support, and group events when restrictions allow.

Laura Elder, Teenage and Young Adult Lead Nurse at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Whatever your age, being treated for cancer is a daunting experience. However, our younger patients especially need support from their peers and our wider psychosocial support team to help them deal with the practical and emotional impact of cancer.

“Our young patients often feel like they stand out in a ward full of older people with cancer, adding to their anxieties. So treating them in a designated space, with people their own age and facilities tailored to their needs is vitally important to their overall health and wellbeing.”

Away from the unit, the teenage and young adult team facilitate a monthly peer support group which allows young people that are either going through or have completed treatment to come together in a social setting. Activities range from go-karting to pizza nights and are a vital part of the peer support process. Peer support groups are organised by the Youth Support Co-ordinator and are open to any young person receiving cancer treatment across Merseyside and Cheshire, North Wales and the Isle of Man, including those that may be receiving their treatment at other hospitals. The Youth Support Co-ordinator keeps in contact with young people (via text or email) to ensure they are invited to all social and peer support events up to two years after completing treatment..

The unit and all the activities are funded through charitable donations, these are carefully spent and help to provide the best possible support to young cancer patients from across Merseyside and Cheshire.

Meet the TYA team

Laura Elder, Lead Nurse for Teenagers and Young Adults

I’m Laura, I’ve worked at Clatterbridge Cancer Centre since qualifying as a nurse in 2003 and as the TYA Lead Nurse since 2013. The role of the lead nurse is to ensure that young people have access to the appropriate services for their age and need. My role is central to the coordination and strategic development of TYA care in the Cheshire and Merseyside region. I lead the team here at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre and it’s my responsibility to ensure our patients get the very best care, that we support them and their families and that we’re working towards continuously improving our service.

Clare Warburton, TYA Clinical Nurse Specialist

Profile to come.

Franchessca Sefton, Youth Support Coordinator

I’m Franki and I’m the Teenage Cancer Trust Youth Support Coordinator at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre. I am a qualified Youth Worker and have worked with young people in a variety of settings for over 16 years. I’ve worked at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre since 2015 and have supported many young patients over that time. I offer social and emotional support to young people with cancer, ensuring they don’t feel defined by their diagnosis. My support is tailored to each individual young person’s needs, personality and situation. The service I offer is so varied that I could be supporting a young person on the ward one day and then organising group activities or days out the next. We do loads of fun things from visiting the Royal Albert Hall for the Ultimate Backstage Experience, to virtual craft sessions. I enjoy seeing young people I work with develop and grow in confidence. It’s important that young people feel like themselves, even when they’re going through something that is so out of the ordinary.

Dr Kate Edwards, TYA Clinical Psychologist

I’m Kate and I have worked as the Clinical Psychologist for TYA’s at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre since 2008. I offer specialist psychological assessment and individualised therapy plans to support any TYA patient or relative with the psychological challenges of having cancer, coping with treatment and recovery. I offer Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (BT) as well as coping strategies (relaxation, distraction, guided imagery and hypnotherapy techniques).

Therese Otty, TYA MDT Coordinator

I am Therese and I have worked at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre since 2003 and as the TYA Multi Disciplinary Team Coordinator since 2009. My role supports and facilitates the weekly TYA Multi Disciplinary Team meeting. Ensuring that patient referrals from clinical teams around the region are listed for specialist discussion in a timely manner. I work closely with multi professional colleagues across the Merseyside and Cheshire region. If you would like more information about the TYA please contact: Therese.otty@nhs.net