This information explains a little about the transition process and what it will mean for you. Remember that if you have any questions about transition, please talk to your clinical nurse specialist or consultant.
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What is transition?
In health care, we use the word ‘transition’ to describe the process of planning, preparing and moving on from children’s health care to adult health care. Transition is a gradual process. It gives everyone time to talk about what health care you will need as an adult, choose which adult clinic is best for you and make sure you are ready to make the move.
When will I move on to adult health care?
Most young people move on to an adult clinic when they are between 16 and 18 years old however you will be commenced onto the ready steady go programme or something very similar before then. This will help us to ensure your transition runs as smoothly as possible and offers some structure to your transition.
Some services offer joint clinics with adult services and some can arrange visits to the adult clinics and wards before moving on. This will help in preparing you for the transition to adult services and we would definitely encourage these steps if you are offered them.
You can ask your parents, consultant or clinical nurse specialist about when you will be making the move. Whatever your plan, you will have time to make sure you feel ready.
Why do I need to move on?
As you grow into a young adult, an adult clinic will be the best place for you to get the care that is right for your needs. The staff in children’s services are expert in caring for babies, children and teenagers, and the staff in adult services are the experts in caring for young adults, adults and older people.
By the time you are at the end of the transition process, you may feel that you have grown out of children’s services and be glad to move on to a more grown-up setting. However, the thought of moving to a new clinic and leaving the staff that you have got to know over the years can be difficult.
But we know from experience that it is a good idea to think of this change as a sign that you are growing up and moving on with your life.
You might have felt the same way when you moved from primary to secondary school. Once you get used to the adult clinic and wards, you should settle into your new routine and get to know the staff there.
Who can help me get ready?
Your healthcare team will be able to give you information and support about moving on. They can help you get ready for adult services by:
Teaching you about your condition or illness, its treatment and any possible side effects
When you are ready, seeing you on your own for part of the clinic appointment and working towards seeing you on your own for the whole clinic appointment
Making sure you know when to get help and who to contact in an emergency
Helping you understand how your condition or illness might affect your future education and career plans
Making sure you know about the support that is available to you
- Making sure you understand the importance of a healthy lifestyle, including exercise, diet, smoking and sexual health
Encouraging you to get to know your general practice (GP) services. You should start seeing your GP for any common illnesses.
You will be encouraged to ask questions whilst in clinic and will be given a leaflet “ask 3 questions” these questions might include the following:
- What is the plan for my transition?
- When am I moving to adult services?
- Can I choose which adult service I move to?
- What is different about the adult service?
- Who do I contact if I am unwell?
- Where will I be admitted?
- Can I meet the adult staff before I leave children’s services?
- Can I visit the adult service to look around?
- 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?
You can also be seen on your own for part of your appointment and this is a way of starting to gain a little independence. If you would like to take this step and you are not offered this time to be seen alone then please speak to any member of staff who will help you to arrange this. As you move closer to transition you may even wish to come to clinic appointments on your own.
This is only a start
This leaflet is designed to get you to start thinking about adult services and the transition process. For every person, this process will be slightly different but your healthcare team should be able to provide you and your family with information about it.
By talking about transition early, you should have plenty of time for discussions and questions, ensuring that you are fully prepared when the time comes to make the move to adult services.
You may like to use this section to jot down any questions you have about your transition.
If you are a care leaver you will have the services of a personal assistant up to the age of 25 years to support you with the transition into all adult services including health.
As a care leaver, you will receive a health passport at the age of 18 years with health information that you will need to be aware of as an adult.
If you are a parent or carer of a young person with a learning disability you should start accessing your GP for annual reviews at 14 years. This will enable the GP to start to get to know the family so at point of transition from paediatrics you will have a network of support within primary care.
For more information please contact the team on:
- Telephone: 01642 850850, Extension: 57790
Monday to Friday only, not including bank holidays, however there is a voicemail facility.
- Email: [email protected]
South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust would like your feedback. If you wish to share your experience about your care and treatment or on behalf of a patient, please contact The Patient Experience Department who will advise you on how best to do this.
This service is based at The James Cook University Hospital but also covers the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton, our community hospitals and community health services.
To ensure we meet your communication needs please inform the Patient Experience Department of any special requirements, for example; braille or large print.
T: 01642 835964
E: [email protected]