• 13Jun

    Improved communication and information needed to support children’s transition to adult health services

    The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published From the pond into the sea, a review of children’s transition to adult health services.

    Young people face plenty of challenges when preparing for adult life. For the 40,000 children and young people with complex physical health needs, there are many additional hurdles. In many cases, the health needs of these young people will have been met by the same people who have looked after them for as long as they can remember. However, one of the changes as they reach adulthood is the transfer to an adult environment where they may need to consult several different health teams, therapy teams, and adult social care services.

    As part of the review, the CQC spoke to 180 young people, or parents of young people, between the ages of 14 and 25 with complex health needs. Only 50% of young people and their parents said they had received support from a lead professional during the process leading up to the transition to adult services. They found that the transition process is variable and that previous good practice guidance had not always been implemented. Young people and families are often confused and at times distressed by the lack of information, support, and services available to meet their complex health needs.

    The report identifies that young people and their families need to be provided with training and advice to prepare them for the transition to adult care, including consent and advocacy.

    Its recommendations highlight that commissioners and service planners should engage with young people and their families, and learn from their experience.

    It identifies best practice from existing services including the importance of good communication with young people and their families, and providing good information about what to expect.

    The full review can be read here.