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St George’s Hospital is a designated hospital for teenagers and young adults with cancer.  There is a dedicated TYA service which provides specialised, age appropriate treatment to teenagers and young adults with cancer.

The TYA service works alongside site specific oncology and haematology teams to provide specialist, age-appropriate care, as well as emotional, psychological, practical and social support and advice to young people aged 16 to 24 who have been diagnosed with cancer at St George’s Hospital.

Depending on your care needs, young people may be able to have some or all of their treatment as an outpatient, without having to stay overnight in hospital. If you do need to be admitted to hospital, young people with cancer will preferably be treated on Ruth Myles Ward.  You may also receive outpatient treatment on Ruth Myles or Trevor Howell Day Unit.

We run peer support events both in the hospital and off site, giving you an opportunity to meet other young people in a similar situation. These are either just for young people having treatment at St George’s Hospital, or linking in with young people being treated at other hospitals through charities like Teenage Cancer Trust.

You can find out about events with other young people through the clinical nurse specialist.

Meet the TYA Team

All members have expertise in TYA cancer and work together, along with the medical team who plan and deliver treatment, to support young people through their treatment and care after treatment.

TYA Lead Clinician

Dr Ruth Pettengell is a consultant oncologist and the lead clinician for the TYA service at St George’s Hospital who, together with the TYA clinical nurse specialist, is responsible for developing the service for TYA patients at St George’s Hospital. Dr Pettengell also works with paediatric and adult medical teams to ensure that all patients have a named consultant who is an expert in their care.

Teenage Cancer Trust TYA Clinical Nurse Specialist

Claire Fowler is the TYA Clinical Nurse Specialist based at St George’s hospital who works collaboratively with cancer specific teams to ensure the needs of young people with cancer, being treated at St George’s Hospital are met and that they are provided with specialist, age appropriate care. Claire works closely with the team at The Royal Marsden and Teenage Cancer Trust.  Claire’s role includes:

  • 1 to 1 sessions where young people can discuss any worries or concerns they may have
  • Acting a source of age appropriate advice and expertise providing specialist, individualised holistic care
  • Offering you an assessment to identify any financial, practical and emotional concerns you may have. This is known as a Holistic Needs Assessment (HNA)
  • To provide specialist nursing advice and support to patients and their families following diagnosis and through all stages of treatment
  • Visiting you in clinic or on wards whilst you are having treatments or appointments to discuss your ongoing care
  • Patient advocacy
  • Supporting young patients to navigate their cancer pathway and promote a culture that supports self-management of the on-going consequences of treatment
  • To communicate with all specialty teams to ensure cohesive multidisciplinary management of patients
  • Engaging young people in peer support activities
  • Helping young people confidence to get back to leading an active life after treatment
  • Liaising with schools, universities and employers and referring to relevant support services including counselling, welfare and benefits advice.

Teenage and Young Adult Room

Funded by donations to St George’s Hospital Charity, and the community group Furzedown FACE, the Teenage and Young Adult (TYA) Room in the Ruth Myles Unit is space dedicated to TYA patients away from the busy general wards and waiting areas of the main hospital.

It is a place where young people with cancer can meet, study or play games, watch TV and chill out. It is also a base for a specialist nurse to provide emotional and medical support and therapeutic activities.

Cancer Treatment

Young adults aged between 19 and 24 years old can choose to be treated at either at St George’s Hospital which is a TYA-designated local hospital or at The Royal Marsden. You can speak to your site specific team directly about place of care, or with the TYA team who can support you in making this decision.

Wherever you choose to have your care, your treatment plan will be discussed and planned in a specialist multidisciplinary team (MDT) meeting to guarantee you are receiving the very best treatment.