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Transition: getting ready to move on

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What is transition?

This describes the process of planning, preparing and moving on from children’s health care to adult health care. Transition is a gradual process. It gives everyone time to talk about what health care you will need as an adult and make sure you’re ready to make the move. It’s a sign that you are growing up and moving on with your life.

    When does this happen?

    Most young people move on to an adult hospital when they are between 16 and 18 years old. You can ask your parents or your Consultant about when you will be making the move. Whatever your plan, you will have time to make sure you feel ready.

      Why do I need to move on?

      The staff at the Children’s Hospital are expert in caring for babies, children and teenagers, and the staff in the adult services are experts in caring for young adults, like you, and older people. The thought of moving to a new hospital and leaving the staff you have known over the years can be difficult. You may have felt the same way when you moved from primary school to secondary school. Once you get used to the new adult hospital you will soon get to know the staff there. You may already have met some of them at clinics in the Children’s Hospital, when they see patients jointly as part of the transition process.

        Will the adult service be different?

        One of the main differences is the amount of independence you will be given. Although this may seem scary, it is good to have more control over your health and the care you are given. This means you will need to learn about your condition, so that you can be more involved in your care and make decisions for yourself. Your parent, carer or close friend is still welcome to come with you if you want – many adults bring someone with them to hospital appointments for support. You can still ask your parent or carer for advice if you want.

          What can I do to prepare for transition?

          • Learn about your condition and treatments.
          • Practice asking and answering questions during your clinic appointments. You may find it helpful to bring a list of questions you want to ask, in case you forget some of them.
          • Try to remember what your medicines are called, what they are for, how much to take and when to take them. Keeping a list with you can be helpful.
          • Learn when and how to get more supplies of your medicines.
          • Make sure you know if you are allergic to any tablets or medicines, and what kind of reaction you had.
          • Practice arranging your appointments.
          • Keep important numbers and appointment dates in your mobile phone, computer or diary.
          • When you agree to treatment plans, try to follow them carefully.
          • Try spending part of your clinic appointment without your parent or carer. This may give you the opportunity to ask your doctor more personal questions without feeling embarrassed.
          • Find out about any changes in your condition that mean you should get urgent help.
          • Find out who to contact in an emergency.
          • For some conditions or treatments, it may be helpful to wear a Medic Alert bracelet or necklace, so that if anything happened to you and you were by yourself, the ambulance team would know what to do.

            Where are the adult diabetes, endocrinology and late effects clinics held?

            These clinics take place in the Medical Outpatients’ Department of the Royal Sussex County Hospital, opposite to the main hospital entrance, on Eastern Road. When you arrive you need to book in at the main Reception Desk and you will be shown where to wait for your appointment.

              Who will I see?

              Doctors you may meet include:

              Dr Anna Crown

              Dr Ali Chakera

              You may also meet the nurse specialists:

              Sam Voss (Endocrine Nurse Specialist)
              01273 696955 extension 64379

              Sophie McGoldrick (Late Effects Nurse Specialist)
              01273 696955 extension 62431

              Members of the Diabetes Nurse Specialist team
              01273 696955 extension 64205

                Who can I talk to about my transition?

                The nurse specialists will be able to help you by answering your questions, giving you information, offering advice and support and helping you organise you move.

                  Other useful information

                  Some of this information has been taken from The Great Ormond Street Hospital website, ‘Teens First for Health’, which has a lot more useful information and advice about transition.

                    This information is intended for patients receiving care in Brighton & Hove or Haywards Heath.

                    The information in this leaflet is for guidance purposes only and is in no way intended to replace professional clinical advice by a qualified practitioner.

                      Publication Date: July 2021

                      Review Date: April 2024

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