teenage boy

In healthcare, we use the word ‘transition’ to describe the process of preparing, planning and moving from children’s to adult services.

The transition process starts when a patient is around 14 which gives them, and everyone involved in their care, plenty of time to prepare for the move to adult services. Some patients with long term conditions may start transition planning at 11 or 12. The actual move to adult care can take place anywhere between 16 and 19 depending on the patient’s condition and their individual needs.

The process is slightly different for everyone, but typically we will talk to patients and their families about what care they will need as an adult and where this might happen. We’ll also make sure that patients are fully aware of how their condition may impact upon their life as they get older, where they can access additional support and what to do in case of an emergency.

Our transition leaflet ‘Transition – moving to adult services’ explains the process in more detail and answers some common questions.

To find out more about transition, young people and their families are invited to attend a Transition evening in November. Find out more in our news section.

If you have any queries or concerns about moving to adult services, you can speak to a member of your child’s healthcare team at any time or contact

Youth Forum

We’re looking for current and former patients and their brothers and sisters to join our new Youth Forum. We want to find out what you think about the hospital and how we can make it better for other young people.

Ready Steady Go

We use the Ready Steady Go programme to support patients through the move to adult services.

This programme uses a traffic light system (red: ready / orange: steady / green: go) to take patients through a series of questions on topics such as health, leisure, emotions and careers.

By working through different stages the programme makes sure that patients are as prepared as possible when the time comes to move on.

After completing Ready Steady Go patients will have an increased knowledge of their condition, medications, lifestyle and where to get further support and advice if needed.

The plan and associated documents are available for use by anyone and can be downloaded from the Southampton Children’s Hospital website.

The Ready Steady Go programme was developed by the Transition Steering Group led by Dr Arvind Nagra, paediatric nephrologist and clinical lead for transitional care at Southampton Children’s Hospital, University Hospitals Southampton NHS Foundation Trust.

Transition services

All specialty areas at Sheffield Children’s have transition services.

Within the trust we use a Transition Health/Hospital Passport. This acts as an advocate for young people and their families. It is tailored to the needs of young people with long term health conditions who have learning disabilities.

Mental Capacity Act – Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

The Mental Capacity Act (MCA) is a law about making decisions and what to do when people cannot make some decisions for themselves.

The act mainly applies to those over 18 years of age but many of the principles apply to 16 and 17 year olds.

Further information is available in the leaflet below:


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