Transition fact sheet for young people
As a young person being seen at Starship you will eventually need to transfer care to an adult health service. The process of getting ready for this is called “transition”. Ideally transition starts early and is planned and gradual. The aim is to help you become independent and responsible for your own health care. Transition supports you to develop skills and knowledge in managing your own health. This is also a time of change for your parent/carer as you become more independent. You will be supported through the transition process over a number of years. Health teams from many areas will be involved.
Transition is a gradual process that starts from early adolescence and continues over several years
What is Transition?
Being part of the team
Transition is a process where you work together with your health teams to prepare for transfer and settling into an adult healthcare service.
It is a planned process. It involves discussions with yourself, your parent/carer and anybody else involved in your care to decide the most suitable health services for your care as a young adult
When does transition start?
Transition takes time.
Transition is a gradual process that starts from early adolescence and continues over several years until you become independent with your healthcare needs. Staff may start to talk to you about transition anytime from 12 years of age. This allows time for everyone to plan and adjust to a time when you will eventually take responsibility for your own care.
Usually transfer of care to adult services happens around age 16 but the best time is when your health is stable and you are not going through lots of change in life or in your health needs.
How is Adult Care different?
You are in control
In adult care the teams will direct questions to you (instead of your parents) and you will be encouraged to have a good understanding of your health care, such as what medications you are on, when you may need to see a doctor to seek advice.
Adult environments feel different
An adult setting may feel very different to a children’s hospital. There will be more adults around and there may be older people attending appointments. To become familiar with the adult setting you are going to transfer to it is a good idea to visit close to the time you move to adult services.
How can I start to prepare for transition?
Get involved and learn
Start to become actively involved in your health care, understand your condition and the care involved with this. It may help to write down questions you have and bring them along to your appointments. There may be an opportunity to have health care professionals from the adult service getting involved in your care whilst you are still seeing your Starship team. Make an effort to get to know them as they will be making an effort to get to know you better.
What’s important to you?
As you get closer to the transfer stage it is helpful to think about the things that are important to you and how they may be affected by your health. It may include things like getting a job, driving a car or how puberty affects you. You can talk to your family as well as any of your health teams about this or any concerns you may have.
You will always have help
A staff member will help to coordinate your transition. This will usually be someone from your Starship team working with someone from your new adult team. Some of the things they may start to discuss with you could include:
Health information relevant to your condition
Resources to support you during transition
How things are different in the adult system
Post school options
There may be some things you want to talk about with the health teams privately without your parents and this is okay too, however if a health professional is worried that you or somebody else is at risk of significant harm they may have to share information without your permission. You can read more about confidentiality here.
Your local doctor is part of the team
It is important to have a local doctor (GP) that understands your health needs. Your GP plays an important role in your adult health care. If you do not have a local doctor you feel connected with already, talk to your parent or carer about this
It is important to work together with your healthcare team and your family and friends to create an individualised plan for your transition.
Who can I ask for more assistance?
You can ask any of the teams involved in your care to assist you. This is the first step in an important part of becoming a young adult and everyone will support you through this process.