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The Young Person's Unit - T12

The Young Person's Unit - T12

The Young Person's Unit (YPU) based on T12 South in University College Hospital, cares for patients aged 13-19 with chronic and acute illnesses other than cancer.  These illnesses include rheumatological, gastrointestinal and endocrine disorders, many of which are life long and some of which can be life threatening.

UCL Hospitals Charitable Foundation has a long history of supporting the YPU, and particularly the Activitity Co-ordinators who work with the patients on the unit, by helping to fund recreational activities for the patients such as day trip's to the cinema or theatre as well as equipment and resources including, amongst other things, laptops, dvd's, art/craft materials and books.

Sarah Smith, Activity Co-ordinator for the YPU, says, "The funds and support that UCL Hospitals Charitable Foundation provides the unit with is extraordinary.  UCL Hospitals Charitable Foundation helps to provide the equipment and funds for the patients to watch films, play games consoles, have pool tournaments, make t-shirts, decorate mugs, bake cupcakes and even take part in activities away from the ward to allow them some brief respite from the ward environment.

These activities are not just for fun either, they have purpose.  For instance, they provide physiotherapy by encouraging mobilisation, they allow patients to socialise which in turns helps them gain peer support at a time when they need it most, and they help to distract the patients from the pain or mental turmoil they are experiencing at that moment.

UCL Hospitals Charitable Foundation also helps to fund our Christmas presents for patients still on the ward, they support our ward parties, movie/pizza nights, birthday parties and any other celebrations that need to happen to lift the patients spirits.  We are forever thankful for the difference the funding from UCL Hospitals Charitable Foundation makes to our ward and the patients."

We are extremely grateful for all of the support that we receive for the Young Person's Unit, and just this Christmas the NP Group, a company local to the hospital, visited the ward and brought Christmas presents for the patients.  Without this type of support we would not be in a position to proactively improve the experience of young patients.

To find out more information about supporting the Young Person's Unit or to make a donation please click here or call Shirley Featherstone on 0203 447 9558.  Thank you.



Below are two case studies of patients on the YPU whose time in hospital has been positively improved thanks to the work of the Activity Coordinators and charitable funding.

Amanda* 18, has been on the ward for 4 months.  She has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic pain, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome and light sensitivity, and has had to undergo a number of procedures to reduce her pain.  She has to take many medications to help her feel comfortable some of which have side effects that limit her ability to do normal day to day tasks.  Amanda is unable to walk and has not been able to get out of bed for 4 months because it is too painful. 

Amanda had a lengthy stay on the YPU and she celebrated her 18th birthday in hospital.  The Activity Coordinators on the ward decided to hold a surprise party for Amanda, and themed the event as 'Glow in the dark' due to her light sensitivity issues.  The party was set up in the Recreation Room and it was decorated with glow sticks, fairy lights and balloons.  They also laid on some party food.  Amanda's family came to hospital on her birthday to help her celebrate and to be part of the special event.  Amanda and her mum cried when she was brought into the surprise party.  They told the Activity Coordinators that in all the time they had been in and out of hospital throughout Amanda's life, they had never been treated to something like this or made to feel so special and cared for.

Amanda had a lovely day and was able to mark this milestone with the help of the charitable funding and the sponsors.  Without this funding we would not be able to make a difference to a young person’s life. - August 2016

Jennifer* 17, a long-term patient, was admitted to UCLH due to chronic depression and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  She was also affected by some social issues related to her home life.  On being admitted to the YPU Jennifer would sit on the floor beside her bed in her coat all day watching her ipad or sleeping.  She was reluctant to interact with doctors and nurses, other patients or make eye contact. After visiting Jennifer everyday, the Activity Co-ordinators found out that she liked baking.  A baking workshop was planned for her to join in with.  At first Jennifer was a bit apprehensive because other people were going to be there and she admitted she felt anxious on the ward. But with the support of the ACs, Jennifer took part, enjoyed the session and talked to other patients.  After several weeks of participating in activities, Jennifer’s Consultant could not believe the change in her - Jennifer had begun interacting with the staff, she would talk about her interests and she even made friends with some of her peers. Everyday Jennifer would be up and out of bed, dressed and ready when the ACs came in wanting to know what activity they had planned for the day. - March 2016