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What is Transition?

You may have heard your Rheumatology team talk about 'transition' and be unsure what this means. If you were diagnosed as a child you will have been cared for by a team in the Children's Hospital. As you get older and more independent you will find that it is important that you understand your condition, the impact it has on your life and the best ways to manage it to keep you well. Transition is this process of learning to manage your health condition and the transfer to adult services. 

This process helps ensure that you, your parents/carers and your doctors and healthcare team can make sure that the move to adult services is as smooth as possible. 

What happens in Transition?

The paediatric rheumatology team will start talking about transition when you are about 13 years old. This can vary a bit depending on the individual and what else is going on in your life and health at the time.

You may have attended appointments with your parents/carers as a child but as you get older you will be supported in and expected to take more control in your appointments. This can include starting to see doctors and nurses without your parents in the room. As you get older, some of the things that you will want to discuss including aspects of your care will change. The children's rheumatology team will start to talk to you about some of these areas, such as the impact of your illness on school/work, relationships and social life. You can also find out more on the other tabs on this website. 

By practising being seen alone, you will develop the skills needed to direct your own care. You may also find that you would like to be seen in a more grown up environment rather than at the children's hospital. The transition process will aim to make this change as easy as possible.

The paediatric team look after young people up to a certain age and there comes a time when it is more appropriate to be looked after by an adult service, usually between the ages of 16 - 18. There is no set time when you will transfer to adult services, your doctor and nurses will talk with you to make sure it happens at a time that feels right.