Transition from children to adult services

Transition from children to adult hospital services happens between the ages of 16-18 years old.

If you are living with a long-term health condition, your nurses and doctors may start to talk about transition from the age of 11 years old. The services you move to might be in the same hospital, a different hospital, within the community or with your GP.

To help your transition run smoothly, we will talk to you and your parents/carers about your transition plan a few years before you move to adult hospital services. We will cover topics like growing up, gaining independence, your health condition, work and education plans and any support or advice you might need during this time.

How will we support your transition process?

We understand that moving away from doctors, nurses and therapists that you know will be different, but hopefully by getting involved in the transition process early, it will help you feel more confident, prepared and involved in the move.

When you were younger, your parents/carers may have been making decisions and managing your health condition, but during the transition process we aim to help you become more independent in managing your own health condition.

During transition, your healthcare team will start planning the support you and your family will need to manage your health condition. As you grow older, that support may be from the health, education or social care services. All the professionals involved in your care should be talking with each other and yourself, to ensure your care needs are met.

Starting my transition

If you are over 14 years old and your healthcare team has not discussed transition with you, please mention it during your next appointment.

To start thinking about transition and gaining independence you may want to:

  • Have a look at the Ready, Steady, Go programme or alternative transition programmes offered by your healthcare team. Visit the Ready, Steady, Go programme website (opens in new window) >.
  • Talk to your healthcare professionals (alongside your parents) in appointments and ask your own questions.
  • Start to learn more about your medical condition - What is it? How does it affect you? How can you explain it to family/friends?
  • Learn about your medication - What is it called? When do you have to take it? What do they help with?
  • Learn more about how your hospital appointments- How are they made? What do they do to help you? What things do you see them for? How do you rearrange appointments if you cannot attend?
  • Start to learn about your hospital letters- What are they for? What do they tell you? How do your parents/carers store them? What to do if you think something in there isn't clear?

You can start to learn about all these things gradually, with the support of the people important to you and your healthcare professionals. You are not expected to understand/ be fully confident with everything straight away, as the process of transition into adult services happens over many years.

Supporting a young person through transition

If you are a parent/carer who will be leading/helping on your young person’s transition into adult care, you can download an easy read guide available on the Well Child website (opens in new window) >. The website has a section which covers topics to enable you to support your young person with the move and can help you to explain transition to young people with learning disabilities.

Key contacts

If you need any support or require further information about transition, please speak to your nurse or doctor, or contact the transition nurse on 01332 785428 or