About Transition

About transition from children to adult health care services

What is Transition?

In health care, the term ‘transition’ is the word used to describe the process of transferring from child to adult health care services. Transition is not a single event. It should be seen as a gradual process of thinking, planning and preparing, which ensures that you and your parents are ready for the eventual move.

When will my transition start?

You and your parent(s)/guardian(s) should start thinking about the transition and move to adult health care services from around the age of 12. By doing this, you will have more time to prepare yourself for the transfer when it happens.

What will transition mean for me?

Transition means that you will be preparing to be looked after by a team who specialise in caring for adults with a long-term illness. Part of this preparation will include you becoming more involved in managing your health care and achieving more independence. You will need to find out all about your medical history and your condition. You will become more involved in looking after your medications, treatments, tests and procedures. Knowing how to keep well and manage your condition through attendance at clinic appointments, a good diet, exercise routines and other lifestyle choices is also part of the transition process.

What challenges could I expect during the transition process?

It is normal for any process involving change to have some minor challenges and transition is no different. The main challenges are:

  • Moving from a setting that you are very familiar and comfortable with to a new setting that you know very little about.
  • Getting to know people in the new healthcare team and their roles.
  • Being more independent and learning to manage your condition.
  • Starting to make decisions about your health care and your treatment.

What can I do to get ready?

Reading the material on this website and listening to or reading the ‘transition stories’ will help prepare you in some way for transition. In this way, you will gain more information and confidence that will support you through the process. The important thing is that you will see that you are not alone. Your parent(s)/guardian(s) and health care team are there to support you and help you to manage the move to adult services. There is no single transition process or programme in Ireland but it is helpful to think of the process as including the following three stages:

Thinking about transition.
Planning your transition.
Making the transition.

Ready for transition.


Are you ready for the transition to adult heath care? Get prepared to make the step up.