New guide aims to help young people with life-threatening conditions explore their sexuality

The Open University and charity Together for Short Lives have produced a guide to help healthcare workers encourage young people to explore personal relationships and sexuality.

Healthcare professionals can help young people with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions (LLTCs) to better understand and talk about sexuality and relationships through a new guide.

The Open University (OU) and charity Together for Short Lives have produced the guide aimed at breaking down taboos and improving the confidence of practitioners to talk with young people about intimacy.

More than 25 young people with LLTCs contributed to the report, with two writing the foreword which urges that such discussions should not be ‘swept under the carpet’.

OU associate dean and co-author Sarah Earle said: ‘Young people with LLTCs have the right to experience intimacy and to give and receive pleasure, whether that means being able to hold hands, fall in love, or enjoy sexual expression in all its forms.

‘We have developed this guidance to ensure that this right can be realised by all young people.’

The report was launched today by independent health adviser Dame Elizabeth Fradd DBE.

Guidance will be made available on the Sexuality Alliance portal, currently being developed on the Open University website.

For more information go to the OU Sexuality Alliance

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