What is a transition?

In health care, a transition is the process of preparing, planning and moving from young people’s services to adult services. If you need help understanding this document, please tell your lead clinician.


Why do I have to move?

As you begin your journey to adulthood, this also becomes the time that a young person will choose whether to move to adult mental health services or to be discharged from mental health services.

If you choose to transition, the adult mental service will continue with your treatment and also deal with a range of things on a young person’s journey such as higher education, careers and relationships and sex.


When do I have to move?

There is no exact time that is right for everyone. You and your support team might have an idea of when would be the right time for you to move, but it is important that you are involved in this decision.


What will happen during the transition?

Once you and your health care practitioners at young people’s services have identified that it is time to start your transition, you should be given information on adult mental health services and begin to discuss how you will be supported there.

You should be given the chance to express any worries or concerns you have about the transition. Parents, guardians and others in your support system will also be given the chance to voice their options if that is what you would like.

You should also have the chance to meet your new team at adult mental health services before your move date so you are familiar with them and have the chance to ask them any questions you may have. When your move date does come you are allowed to bring someone with you to appointments until you are comfortable to attend on your own.

Finally after you have settled into your new service, you should be given the chance to give your feedback on how you found your transition.


What is a Transition Care Plan (TCP)?

A Transition Care Plan is a document which can be completed and used by you and your key mental health practitioner to help you to start to think ahead and be in control of your transition to adult mental health services. You have the right to have your views, opinions and concerns heard throughout this process and this document, which can be updated as you move through the transition, will help make this happen. Completing a Transition Care Plan will help make your transition about you.

It will also help young people’s and adult mental health services to identify your needs and offer the right help and support throughout your transition and beyond. It will also ensure that adult mental health services have all the information you would like them to have to provide you with the correct treatment, as well as helping you and your team to make sure the right steps have been taken to make your transition as smooth and as successful as possible.

The clinician you are working with should tell you about using a Transition Care Plan when you begin to discuss your transition. If they don’t however, you can bring a copy to them and ask them to use it with you.


What is in a Transition Care Plan?

A Transition Care Plan is made up of a variety questions about your current wellbeing and other things happening in your life like work, studying or your home life. The reason you are asked these questions is so adult services is provided with as much information as possible, so the right support is in place for you and accommodates your needs.

There are specific questions about your transition which will help both you and your mental health team to ensure that you have all the knowledge you need about your transition, have followed the necessary steps, met your new team and feel generally confident about your transition to adult services.

The document also gives you the chance to highlight any concerns you may have, record information about your current treatment and your new team, and identify any other key people in your support network who you would like to be involved in your transition (for example, family, guardians, teachers, friends, etc.)

It is recommended that you and your key health care practitioners at both children’s and adult service review, update and amend this document at various stages throughout your transition process to reflect where you are in your journey. There is a meeting log at the end of the Transition Care Plan for this purpose.


Who will see my Transition Care Plan?

This document will be shared with both your team at young people’s services as well as your new team at adult mental health services. This is your plan and you should therefore keep a copy for yourself as well. You can also share your plan with anyone else you would like to be involved in this process, such as teachers, social workers, employers, and others in your support network, or ask your health care professional to do so on your behalf.

All information you put on your Transition Care Plan will, however, be kept confidential and only shared with those you have given permission, unless you are thought to be at risk to yourself or others, or with those who are essential to your health care provision.

It is recognised that changing your current team of support may be unsettling but by involving you in the transition process, hopefully you will feel more confident and happier about this transition.


Questions you may like to ask your healthcare team when thinking about transitioning:

  • What is the plan for my transition?
  • When am I moving to adult mental health services?
  • Which adult mental service am I moving to?
  • Will adult mental health services be able to accommodate for my specific needs?
  • When can I visit the adult mental health service to look around?
  • When can I meet my new lead practitioner at adult mental health services?
  • Can I speak to some young people who have moved to adult mental health services?
  • Can I attend appointments by myself when I move to adult mental health services?
  • How will my condition affect my future, in relation to employment and education?