“Transition” is the shift in responsibility for care from clinicians and parents to the young person with the condition – a process that is rarely as simple as moving from a paediatric service to an adult service. Unless the individual truly owns their care and feels supported in that ownership, it’s unlikely that he or she will enjoy good health or wellbeing. That makes transition an important and delicate inflection point in the lives of young people with long term conditions, one that if handled poorly, could have very serious consequences.

Historically, managing transition in the NHS has been focused on making the young person feel comfortable in an adult environment; recently, there has been more emphasis on helping the young person understand the “facts” of their condition. But though valuable, neither approach, nor even a combination of the two, goes far enough in effectively supporting young people with long-term conditions in transition. So what does work?

We asked the people at the living centre of the question. We held a series of workshops and discussions with young people with long-term conditions, their carers, and clinicians, asking them about their experiences with transition. We talked about what worked and what definitely didn’t and in the end, co-created a programme of training materials and resources.

“Rethinking Transition” is offered to any healthcare professional supporting a young person through transition, and offers a set of practical tools to help them enable young people to develop the skills they need to take on responsibility for their care. We know healthcare professionals want to provide the best care they possibly can – we think this programme can show them ways to be the resource their young patients need them to be, to use their unique skill set to empower young people to become responsible for their own care and to equip them with the life skills they need to effectively do so.

Ultimately, we believe this programme can make transition less fraught and less likely to result in a lapse in continuity of care, better enabling young people with long-term conditions to reach their potential in life, irrespective of their condition.

For more information about how we came up with this programme, please visit the About This Programme page.


Clip 3 from Paul William Craddock on Vimeo.

“When I’m 18 and I go to university, my mum’s not going to hold my hand… In the end, it’s all down to you and the decisions you make that affect your diabetes and your life.”