Transition Programme

What is healthcare transition?

Transition is the process of preparing, planning and moving from children’s to adult services. Transition is a gradual process of change which gives everyone time to ensure that you and your family are prepared and feel ready to make the move to adult health care.

Some young people may be discharged to their GP rather than transfer to adult services. We may still complete transition documentation with you, to build your skills and knowledge to confidently manage your own healthcare and ensure you have the information you need before you are discharged to the care of your GP.

Young people with complex needs are likely to experience various transitions including education, therapies, community nursing and social care, as well as medical care.

What’s the difference between transition and transfer?

You might hear your doctors and nurses refer to the term ‘transfer’ as well as transition. We use the word ‘transition’ to describe the process of planning and moving on from a children’s service to an adult service. Transfer refers to the physical process of transferring your care to a doctor within adult services.

When will the transition process start?

The preparation process will start between the ages of 12-14 years old according to which service you are under and individual needs.

When will the transfer to adult services happen?

The age you transfer to adult services varies according to which service you are under and your needs.  Discussions about the age you will transfer should start in your outpatient clinic appointments when you are around 14-years-old, so that you know what the future plan will be. You do not need to wait for the doctor to bring it up, we encourage you to ask the question too!


You will receive help whilst you are preparing for the transfer to adult services. Here’s some information about how your current service and healthcare professionals will do this. 

If you are under a children’s team in our hospital or community service

  • Every young person will have a named person to help coordinate the transition process.
  • We use a transition programme called Ready, Steady, Go which will help you gain the knowledge and skills you need to manage your condition. You may also complete a condition specific checklist with a member of your medical team to ensure you understand the specific skills needed for your condition and medication. (Ready, steady, go images)
  • For some conditions, you will have the opportunity to meet the adult services doctor and/or nurse before you transfer.
  • You will also be given a written transition plan detailing the age that you will transfer to adult services, a summary of any goals identified for you to work towards and areas where further information or advice is needed.

If you moving into our adult services from a children’s service from another healthcare provider
  • Your current doctor, nurse or therapist should be helping to coordinate your transition to our adult services
  • Your service may use a transition programme such as Ready, Steady, Go help you gain the knowledge and skills you need to manage your condition before you transfer to adult services.
  • For some conditions, you will have the opportunity to meet the doctor, nurse and/or therapist from the adult services before you transfer to it.
  • The children’s service should ensure we have received the appropriate information about you and your needs. You should be provided with the contact details for the adult healthcare professionals.

Will I be able to see the doctor on my own if I want to?

If you are aged 16 or older, you have the right to see a doctor alone. Until you are aged 16, your parents have a right to come to clinic with you. However, that does not mean that they have to spend the whole of the consultation in the room with you. In fact, we encourage that before you move to adult services, you enter the initial part of your clinic appointment on your own and we then invite your parent/carer in to recap afterwards.  It is important that we prepare you and your family for your move from being a child patient to being an adult patient.

At any appointment, you can have time on your own with the doctor or nurse if you wanted to speak to them confidentially. 

this describes youth rights within health care and covers confidentiality, consent to treatment and feedback this poster encourages youths to ask three questions about their healthcare. What are their options, what are the pros and cons of each option and how do they get support to help them make a decision which is right for them.

What can I do to help my transition?

Your parents or carers have been really important in looking after your health and will be able to give you lots of helpful advice. While you are in the process of transitioning, your parents will still be very involved in your care and their role is still important.

Practice doing the following things to help prepare you for adult care

  • Learn about your condition/s and treatments
  • Practice asking and answering questions during clinic appointments
  • Try to take some responsibility for remembering what your medicines are called, what they are for, how much to take and when to take them
  • Learn how to get more supplies of your medicines or dressings
  • Practice arranging appointments with your consultant, GP, physiotherapist, dietitian etc.
  • Keep important phone numbers and appointment dates on your mobile phone calendar
  • When you agree to treatment plans, make sure that you follow them properly
  • Try spending time without your parents for part of clinic appointments, then when you feel ready try spending the whole appointment on your own.
  • Find out any changes in your condition that mean you should get urgent help
  • Find out who to contact in an emergency

Where will I stay if I have to be admitted to hospital?

  • If you are under the age of 16, you will be admitted to a children’s ward and looked after by a children’s doctor.
  • If you are between the ages of 16-18, you have the choice of whether you want to be admitted on to the adolescent unit on the children’s ward (as long as there is a bed available) or admitted to an adult ward.

There are a number of things you can ask your healthcare team about your transition.

  • What is the plan for my transition?
  • Will I be discharged to my GP or transferred to adult services?
  • When am I moving to adult services?
  • Can I choose which adult service I move to?
  • What is different about the adult service?
  • Can I meet the adult staff before I leave children’s services?
  • Are there any young people I can talk to about moving to adult services?
  • What do I need to know before I move to the adult service?
  • When can I start getting more involved in my health care?
  • How will my condition affect my future, such as my education and employment prospects?


If you have any questions about your transition from children’s to adult services, please contact: 

Kelly Edie-Fisher
Transition Key Worker

Tel: 07773053702