What is transition?

In healthcare, we use the word “transition” to describe the process of preparing, planning and moving from children’s to adult services. Transition is a gradual process that gives you, and everyone involved in your care, time to get you ready to move to adult services and discuss what healthcare needs you will require as an adult.

This includes deciding which services are best for you and where you will receive that care. Transition is about making plans with you - and not about you. We understand that moving away from a team of doctors and therapists that you have been with for many years can be scary but hopefully, by getting involved in the transition process, you will feel more confident and happier about the move. Planning this now makes sure that transitions will run as smoothly as possible.

Why do I have to move?

As you get older, you will find that some of the things you want to discuss or some of the care you might need is not properly provided by our children’s services. Adult services are used to dealing with all sorts of issues that may arise, such as higher education, travelling, careers, relationships and sex. You may also find that you would prefer to be seen in a more grown-up environment, rather than the usual children’s departments or wards.

Who can help me get ready?

Your healthcare team will be able to give you information and support about moving on. As part of this young people are invited to our multi-disciplinary transition clinic.

Who is invited to the Transition Clinic?

All young people who need support from physiotherapy, occupational therapy and/or from the paediatricians are invited for these transition meetings.  We plan to invite young people who are in school years; 9, 11 and 13.

What happens at the appointment?

At the appointment, you will meet with your paediatrician and a member of both the physiotherapy and occupational therapy teams. The therapists who attend may not be your usual therapist, however they will be able to guide you to ask questions, share concerns and plan for your future. If you have any worries about the therapist being someone you do not usually meet with, please discuss this with your usual therapist.

You are welcome to invite another professional or a member of your family if you would like. Please advise us prior to the appointment if you plan to do this.

When you are ready, the team will see you on your own for part of the clinic appointment with the aim of working towards seeing you on your own for the whole clinic appointment as you near the age of transitioning to adult services.

Topics that may be covered include:

  • Teaching you about your condition or illness, its treatment and any possible side effects
  • 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 networks available
  • Making sure you understand the importance of a healthy lifestyle, including exercise, diet, smoking and sex.

Ready Steady Go Questionnaires

As part of the appointment we ask that you complete a colour-coded questionnaire named; “Ready, Steady Go”. These are available in the below tab.

Parents/carers can assist with filling it in but the answers should reflect the thoughts of the young person as much as possible. We will use your answers to help guide our discussion.

When do I have to move?

At age 18 or after the final year of school you will be discharged from the Children’s Integrated Therapy team. The purpose of the transition clinics is to get you thinking about moving on and preparing for it.

Your family

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. Try to talk to them and your health care team about how you feel about moving on to adult care and any questions or concerns you might have. Also try to discuss practical issues relating to your health, such as getting to appointments, obtaining repeat prescriptions and asking questions in clinic.

While transition is all about you, it is important to realise that your parents may also be finding the process difficult as now they are handing over the responsibility to you. This can be hard for many parents and they may have worries of their own. You may find talking to them about your feelings, and allowing them a chance to tell you how they feel, will help you all through the process.

Questions you may like to discuss with your healthcare team:

  • 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?
  • 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?

Ready Steady Go

As part of the appointment we ask that you complete a colour-coded questionnaire named; Ready, Steady Go. These are available on the below:

Parents/carers can assist with filling it in but the answers should reflect the thoughts of the young person as much as possible. We will use your answers to help guide our discussion.

Hillingdon Talks

Mainstream Schools Service Transitioning Towards Adulthood