Transitional Care

Young people with long-term health conditions remain under the care of children’s health care services until they are approximately 18 years old. At this point in their life, they need to move into the care of providers of adult health services. This important period, and the care provided, is usually known as ‘transitional care’. 

This time in the life of a person is particularly important in their future development, especially in terms of their health and their future life time opportunities, such as education, employment prospects and their general wellbeing. This can sometimes involve a period of ‘shared-care’ between providers of children’s and adult services. 

Previous research has shown that the organisation of transitional care (model) varies considerably between health conditions and within different parts of the UK. Young people often feel a sense of abandonment when leaving children’s services and services are often organised around the needs of healthcare professionals rather than the young person and family.

The need to develop good models of transitional care has been identified as a priority in a government report from the most senior doctor in the UK. Our previous research has identified a number of models of transitional care and has enabled young people and healthcare professionals to give detailed feedback on their knowledge and experience of transitional care. This has allowed us to identify things that do or don’t work well and to understand what young people and healthcare professionals believe will make a good experience during transitional care. 

For further information see the Managing Complex Needs section.

More articles     Posted on: 18 February 2015