Frequently asked questions
If you don't find answers to the questions you have about transitioning to adult health services here, please talk your health care teams about any questions you have.
When will I move to adult services?
The transition process commences from an early age, anytime around 12-14 years, where healthcare staff may start to talk to you about getting ready for moving to an adult or young adult service. This helps you to have plenty of time to prepare and adjust to the changes required as you become a young adult taking responsibility for your own health care. Usually the actual transfer of care to adult services occurs around the age of 16 years when your health is stable and you are not going through lots of changes in your life or your health needs.
Your healthcare team will discuss with you a suitable time to transfer to adult services.
Why do I have to move from Starship?
As you become a young adult, the adult health services will be the best place for you to receive care that best suits your needs. Starship staff are experts in caring for babies, children and teenagers. The adult health services are experts in caring for young adults and older people.
Whilst we recognise this can be a difficult time to leave all the people that you have become familiar with, it is a good idea to think of this as a chance for you to become more responsible for your own health care and be treated as a young adult. Other young adults that have transitioned have commented that "it gives them more say in their own health care".
Will the adult service be different?
In an adult health service, the staff will direct questions to you (instead of your parents) and you will be encouraged to have a good understanding of your healthcare. This may include knowing things like what medications you are on, your health history and knowing when to see a doctor if you are unwell. You will hopefully have started to develop these skills as part of the transition process. This may seem difficult at first and both the Starship staff and your parents will support you to develop this knowledge over a period of time. This is why we start the transition process at an early age.
You may choose to talk to the staff in the adult service on your own, but you will still be allowed to take your parents or a friend in with you to your appointment if you wish. Many adults take family members or friends along to appointments for support. Although you will be encouraged to make decisions on your health care, you can still ask your parents for advice before making any decisions. It is a good idea to visit the services you will be using closer to the time you move, to become familiar with the environments.
What will be the same?
Although the services you visit will look and feel different and the staff will be new, both children's and adult services are there to care for you and your health and will have your best interest at heart.
What do I need to do to get ready and who can help me with this?
It is very helpful for you to start to become involved in your health care, including understanding your condition and the care involved with this. It may help to write down questions you have and bring them along to your appointments. As you get closer to the stage of transferring to adult services, you should be thinking about the things that are important to you and how they may affect your health. This may include things like getting a job, driving a car, or talking about your sexual health. You may want to start spending part of your appointment time on your own talking to your healthcare team to discuss some things.
Talk to your parents about transition and how you are feeling about the process. They have been and will continue to be really important in looking after your health and will be a great resource for you as you start to learn more about taking responsibility for your own health care. You can set up a plan with them for how much you want to be involved and gradually increase your responsibility over time. This could be practising things like making your own appointments or getting your prescriptions filled. It is also really important to have a GP that understands your health needs as this person plays an important role in your adult health care. If you do not have a GP talk to your parents and healthcare team about this.
Who can I talk to about transition?
If you have any questions about transition to adult services you can talk to any of the staff involved in your health care at Starship. All staff are here to help you with this important step to becoming a young adult responsible for your own health care needs.