Poor transition is contributing to a decline in young people’s health How can we help?

What is transition?

Transition of care is when young people move from paediatric to adult healthcare. This is often a daunting period for young people as they try to navigate NHS systems for the first time independently.

What is the problem?

The transition from paediatric to adult healthcare is often associated with a decline in the wellbeing of patients[1][2]. This is due to several reasons including a lack of accessible information for young people and parents/carers on what to expect. Our team at Connecting Care for Children interviewed young people on their experience of transition. They told us that they lacked understanding of

  • When they would be able to access healthcare services independently
  • How to access healthcare services
  • How their GP would be involved in the transition process

We interviewed parents and healthcare professionals and found that only half knew the correct age at which young people are legally allowed to access their healthcare records online (answer 13 years old – if patients are between 13 and 15 years old they will need their GPs to authorise this first). Only 65% knew at what age a child is allowed to see a healthcare professional on their own (answer at any age). We believe that the anxiety surrounding and the wellbeing deterioration associated with healthcare transition will be reduced by providing better education on the process.

What is Own It?

Connecting Care for Children created the Own It resource to help young people take ownership of their healthcare and support them through the transition process. It teaches young people about their rights in healthcare as they approach 16 years old. Answering commonly asked questions such as When can I see a GP on my own? and When can I collect prescriptions? There are 3 posters, each tailored for a different audience:

  1. Young people
  2. Parents and carers
  3. Healthcare professionals


What have we done so far?

Our team at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust have been distributing the Own It resource on the ward, at community youth groups (including Hammersmith and Fulham Youth Council and Young Kensington and Chelsea), in the St Mary’s Hospital outpatient department and at transition clinics*.

Our team have also held a transition workshop in the waiting room for an outpatient adolescent clinic. Within this educational workshop we discussed how patients felt about approaching the transition process and aimed to equip them with the information they may need to tackle it with confidence.

The transition workshop was based on the 11to25 hub resource.

*Transition clinics are conducted across the NHS to help bridge the gap between paediatric and adult services. Young people with long term conditions meet with their paediatric consultant and their adult counterpart.


Next steps for CC4C

Further develop the pop up stalls, taking them to different settings (e.g. schools, breakfast clubs, community youth groups, GP surgeries etc) and collaborating with other healthcare professionals, such as yourself! The dream would be to create a teaching scheme where university students are trained by the CC4C team to deliver the workshops, encouraging peer to peer learning. We think this would be the most effective way in which to grow the project and raise the awareness of Own it.

How can you help?

Our aim is for the Own It resource to reach as many young people, parents and carers and healthcare professionals as possible, to spread the education far and wide. Own Itis valuable for all young people, whether they have a chronic condition or not. This resource can be dispended in many different setting, some ideas of where you could use it are:

  • In secondary school receptions
  • In secondary school welfare offices
  • At after school clubs
  • At community youth groups
  • At your local religious centre
  • In GP surgeries (physical copies)
  • Texting the link to parents/parents
  • In outpatient waiting rooms
  • In emergency departments
  • When discharging any patients between the ages of 13-18 from hospital

Are you interested in our help?

If you think your school, GP surgery or other service would benefit from an educational transition workshop please do get in contact with us at imperial.cc4c@nhs.net


[1] Pediatric Renal Transplantation: Focus on Current Transition Care and Proposal of the “RISE to Transition” Protocol, Annals of Transplantation, Raina, R, Wang, J, Krishnappa, V, and Ferris, M, 2018

[2] Change in Health Status and Access Care in Young Adults With Special Health Care Needs: Results From the 2007 National Survey of Adult Transition and Health, Journal of Adolescent Health. Volume 52, Okumura, M.J, Hersh, A.O, Hilton, J.F, and Lotstein, D.S, 2013