Moving to adult care (transition)

Many transitions happen throughout our lives.

We may not always call them by the name ‘transition’, for example moving from primary to secondary school.

What is transition?

Transition is the process of preparing to move from children’s to adult services.

This process is particulary important for young people who receive regular care and have long term conditions.

It is a gradual process that gives you and everyone involved in your care time to get ready and to discuss your healthcare needs as an adult.

Transition helps you to become responsible for your care and make decisions about your care.

A transition plan such as Ready Steady Go will be used to gradually plan and prepare you for adult services. This usually starts when you are over 11 years old. If you are over 14 and your team hasn’t mentioned transition to you yet, then ask them about it at your next appointment.


Why do I have to move?

You are becoming a young adult and need care from specialist adult-trained doctors and nurses. Adult services will be the best place for you to get the correct care.

As you get older you may also want to be cared for in a grown-up environment, rather than in children’s departments and wards.


What will be different in adult services?

One of the main differences is the amount of independence you will be given. In the adult services the doctors and nurses will spend more time talking to you than your parents or carers. You may also choose to go to appointments alone. Adult services also have more experience in talking about adult issues like employment, travelling and sexual health.

The support of your family

Your parents or carers are important in looking after your health. They will remain important during transition and will help to support you.

Try talking to them about how you feel about moving to adult services. You may find it helpful to talk to them about your feelings and to allow them to express their feelings too.

It is also worth discussing practical issues like how you will manage appointments, getting to clinics, collecting prescriptions and asking questions.

Useful Resources

Young Minds have a useful page where two bloggers share their experience of moving from childrens to adults mental health services.

Page last updated on: 30th March 2023