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Transition to Adult Services

We take care of the gradual process of preparing you and your family for the move to adult services. This might be at the same hospital, another hospital, a community centre or with your GP.

Currently, your health is being cared for by a range of health professionals, such as a children’s doctor, children’s community nurse, mental health nurse, psychiatrist, psychologist, psychotherapist, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, speech and language therapist and mental health practitioner. As you grow older, we need to think about your care being provided by adult physical and mental health services, based on your preference and clinical needs.  

We understand that moving away from a team of doctor and other professionals you’ve been with for many years can be worrying. But, hopefully, by getting involved in the transition process, you’ll feel more confident and happier about the transfer to adult health care.

For young people with long-term health conditions, transition should start at around age 14 but will depend on individual circumstances. The exact timing of transition from children to adolescent or adult services varies from person to person. It also depends, to a certain extent, on which adult services are available.

For example, the age of transfer to adult mental health services would be 18, with the transition process starting at around 17. This would enable you and your family to get a better understanding of the local services available, and identify the service that meets your needs most appropriately.

We support your independence at this key point in your live, and make sure you and your family are afforded as many choices as possible when planning your future support.

To improve the long-term outcome, and help you and your family gain the confidence and skills to move to adult healthcare services, we expect you to have:

  • A named transition co-ordinator
  • Received information on the adult service(s) you’re transitioning to
  • Completed a transition health care plan and received a discharge summary

If you have a long-term condition, we expect that by age 11, you’ll start having conversations with your healthcare professionals in preparation for adulthood. This will continue up until the point of transfer.

Your healthcare plan should clearly show the health support you need, including hospital, education, home and in the community.

Your plan should show how you’ll receive your healthcare support, including naming the key professionals involved in planning your transfer and those responsible for delivering your healthcare support when you’re an adult.

Your healthcare plan should also make sure that, as far as possible, you and your family are supported to manage your own medical condition, and that you have plenty of time to meet all the new staff so you feel safe and confident with your new arrangements.

All healthcare plans need to be tailored to you and your health needs, which could include a variety of conditions, such as physical disabilities, learning disabilities, behavioural, mental health and life-limiting conditions. Where relevant, your plan will call for a number of specialist health staff to be involved.