There will come a point - usually around age 16-18, when as a young person with diabetes, you will make the move from childhood medical support services and specialists to adult medical care.

Helping young adults with diabetes

The Young Adults Diabetes Service (YADS) offers a number of clinics that focus on the care of 16-25 year-olds with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

Clinic staff such as diabetes nurse educators and dietitians are from both the Royal Melbourne Hospital and the Royal Children’s Hospital.

What we do

Transitioning is a big step and it can be quite daunting to leave behind the team that you may have known and trusted for many years. One of the biggest differences between child and adult health services is the independence that you will gain. But at the same time, you will be expected to learn how to manage and take control of your diabetes yourself.

If you are transitioning to our Young Adults with Diabetes (YADs) clinic at Royal Melbourne Hospital, we hope that the following information answers some of your questions and helps to re-assure you that coming to the ‘big people's’ clinic is nothing to worry about. In fact, it’s a friendly place and provides you with the opportunity to meet other young people with diabetes. Our fantastic team will also do their best to assist you to gain the skills needed to manage your diabetes.

YADS clinics are designed specifically for young people with diabetes who are aged between 18-25 yrs.

When you arrive at the Young Adults with Diabetes clinic

The clinic is located in 1 Centre. From the main lift foyer, take the stairs or lift to the first floor. On arrival, please check in at reception.

Once you have checked in (and before you see the doctor), we would like you to go to Melbourne Health Pathology to have an HbA1c test. This is done via a simple finger prick test. The result will be given to you immediately, so you can bring it with you to your appointment. You are not required to pay for the test; it will be bulk billed using your Medicare card.

How to get to Melbourne Private Pathology

From the main lifts on the ground floor, follow the blue line to Melbourne Private and RMH car park. Melbourne Health Pathology is located on your right, just before the car park.

After your blood test

Once you have your HbA1c result, follow the blue line back to the main lifts and take the stairs or lift back to the first floor.

Say "hello" to the team

We’d like the opportunity to meet you and say hello. There is a diabetes educator at every clinic, please seek us out and tell us if it is your first time at RMH. We can show you around and help you with any questions or needs you might have. We’d also like to make sure that you are provided with contact details for your new diabetes team.

How long will I wait?

As the RMH is a busy public hospital there are occasionally waiting times for your appointment. While we always endeavour to keep waiting times to a minimum, it’s a good idea to bring a book, iPad/tablet or some homework to pass the time.

Who will I see?

There are usually seven doctors who attend the clinic; one of these is a doctor from the Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) who you may have seen before.

For your first clinic appointment, you will most likely see the doctor from RCH. For your subsequent appointments, you will see one of the Royal Melbourne Hospital doctors. If you have a specific preference to see a male or female doctor, please inform the doctor from RCH of your preferred option.

For consistency, we endeavour for you to see the same doctor each visit. Occasionally your doctor may be away and you might see a different doctor.

If you require a medical certificate or certificate of attendance, please inform your doctor.

You will also have access to both a diabetes educator and a dietitian at the clinic. Appointments are limited, so if the diabetes educator or dietitian is not able to see you on the day you attend the clinic, an outpatient appointment can be made. The diabetes educators also offer phone contact should you require assistance with insulin dose adjustments. Find out more about our Diabetes Education Service.

Please feel free to approach any of the team if you need assistance, information or just want to chat.

If you are on an insulin pump, we encourage you to upload your pump prior to your appointment. Uploading at home saves time during clinic and allows the doctors, educators and dietitians to focus on other aspects of your education and care. If, however, you are unable, or you forget to upload prior to your appointment, the diabetes educator or doctor is able to do this for you in the clinic. Try to ask the diabetes educator to help you with this before you go in to see the doctor.

Tests

The doctor you see may provide you with requests slips for various other pathology/tests which you will need to have done at your current appointment or prior to your next visit to clinic.

Blood tests

Blood tests can be done at Outpatient Pathology on Level 1.

Kidneys

To test how your kidneys are functioning, you may be required to provide a urine sample (which can be done on the day of your appointment). Alternatively, you may be asked to collect your urine overnight – either for one night, or for 3 nights in a row. Urine collection bottles are available from Outpatient Pathology on Level 1. Bottles can be returned there once the test is complete.

Eyes

If your doctor has given you a slip to have fundal (eye) photographs taken, this can be done immediately prior to your next clinic appointment. Fundal photos are taken at Medical Illustration on Level 1. It is a good idea to call the phone number on the request slip to ensure you get an appointment.

Medical Illustration is equipped with a ‘non-mydriatic’ camera. This means that you will not need to have drops put in your eyes before having your photos taken. Your vision therefore won’t be affected after having eye photos taken.

Diabetes related equipment and information

During the clinic we can provide you with record books, new blood glucose meters, new pens and other equipment as required.

Various types of diabetes-related information will also be available for you to access. This includes general information on diabetes, as well as specific information on things such as pregnancy planning, sick day management, travelling with diabetes, insulin pumps, continuous glucose monitoring systems and bolus advisor blood glucose meters.

Insulin pumps

Our pre-pump information group provides an opportunity to view the various pumps offered for training at Royal Melbourne Hospital, as well as ask questions about what is required before, when and after you commence insulin pump therapy.

The group runs once a month and the information provided will hopefully assist in your decision-making about whether a pump is right for you. If you are interested in attending this group, please advise the diabetes educator who can book you in at your convenience.

Find out more about using your insulin pump and the insulin pumps available for training at the RMH.

Continuous glucose monitoring

Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) involves wearing a small glucose sensor inserted under the skin, usually in the abdomen or upper, outer buttock. The sensor measures glucose every 5 minutes and is normally worn for a 6 day period. Once complete, the data are uploaded and plotted onto graphs, enabling identification of glucose patterns.

CGM may be recommended by your doctor if you are experiencing fluctuations in your blood glucose levels, especially overnight. CGM can be offered to people using insulin pumps as well as to those on multiple daily injections. The investigation involves a day stay admission. Please speak to your doctor or diabetes educator for more information.

Find out more about our Continuous Glucose Monitoring service.

Bolus advisor blood glucose meters

Also known as bolus calculators, these blood glucose meters can recommend an appropriate insulin dose based on:

  • Your current blood glucose level
  • The amount of carbohydrate in the food you are about to eat
  • The amount of insulin still working from your previous injection
  • Your target blood glucose level
  • Any health events happening (such as sick days)
  • Exercise you have done or plan to do

These blood glucose meters rely on accurate carbohydrate counting (see below). Please discuss your suitability for a bolus advisor meter with your doctor, diabetes educator or dietitian.

Find out more about our Bolus Advisor Blood Glucose Meter Service.

Carbohydrate counting

Accurate carbohydrate counting is a requirement prior to commencement on an insulin pump and for use safe use of bolus advisor blood glucose meters. Carbohydrate counting education also offers those using multiple daily injections flexibility in their eating and enables more accurate insulin dosing for food.

Carbohydrate counting education may be completed at Royal Melbourne by attending a carbohydrate counting group. This group is conducted by our Endocrine dietitian. Individual carbohydrate counting appointments can also be arranged in some circumstances. Please speak to your dietitian, doctor or diabetes educator for more information.

Read more about carbohydrate counting.

Follow up visits

Your doctor will determine the frequency of your appointments in clinic. The ward clerks at the appointment desk usually leave at around 5pm. If the Reception is unattended when you are ready to leave, please place your appointment request slip in the tray available. Another appointment will be sent to you in the mail.

Questions? Just ask us

If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to ask either your doctor or one of the diabetes educators. We’re all very friendly and are here to help.

Diabetes research trials

Are you or someone you know interested in participating in a diabetes research trial at Royal Melbourne Hospital?

Find out more about our Diabetes research trials.

For parents and carers

We acknowledge that this probably feels like a big step for you too. You are an important person in supporting your loved one to achieve their goals for their diabetes as well as reach their potential as a young adult. Coming from a children’s service to an adult service will likely mean your role changes a little as you take more of a ‘back seat’ while your loved one gains the skills and confidence to be independent with their diabetes management (if they are not already).

Before coming to the RMH, we suggest having a chat with your loved one who has diabetes about:

  • What sort of role they would like you to take now that they are attending an adult service
  • Whether or not they are comfortable with you sitting in on their appointment
  • How can you best support them while they are juggling all the changes in their life (work, study, experimenting, socialising) with looking after their diabetes.

Please feel free to ask our team if you need anything and see below for some great resources specifically for you.

Useful links

Diabetes Kids and Teens website

This website provides information specifically for teenagers with diabetes including:

Pre-Pregnancy planning

Pre-pregnancy care

‘Can I have a healthy baby’ booklet

Driving

Vic Roads Driving and Diabetes Information

Driving and Diabetes Booklet

CHO counting

Calorie King

Psychology Services

Australian Psychological Society - find a psychologist in your local area

How to access this service

You need a referral from your GP or medical practitioner to access this service.

Your GP will fax your referral to the hospital. Once we receive the referral, we will send you a letter.

If there is a waiting list, you'll be advised what to do in your letter.

Referrals are current for 12 months from the date of issue. Keep a copy of your referral, so you can easily ask your GP to renew your referral if you need to.

Clinics

Young Persons Diabetes City Campus Outpatients, Level 1 Centre THU

What to bring

  • Medicare card
  • Health Care card (if you have one)
  • Concession card (if you have one)
  • Adverse drug alert card (if you have one)
  • Medications you are currently taking, including any that you have bought without a prescription
  • X-ray films, scans, ultrasounds or any other test results you have which are related to your procedure
  • Private health insurance card (if you want to use it)
  • Your blood glucose meter
  • Your blood glucose diary/record book
  • Your favourite hypo food
  • A friend or relative

Downloads

Contact us if you need an accessible version of a download.

In a medical emergency, call 000. If you are feeling unwell, see your local GP or go to your local hospital Emergency department for help.