Starship rheumatology transition program

Young people with rheumatology conditions such as juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) and Lupus (SLE) are better prepared to manage their condition in the long term if they are confident looking after their own health before they move to adult services. Planning early allows time for young people to develop their skills and confidence so that they can become more independent.

We start talking about transition when a young person is between 11 and 12 years old. At Starship, the move to adult services happens after the young person turns 15 years old.

Transition planning with a young person and their whānau starts at about 13 years of age. We do this in a separate transition appointment. At this appointment we check how confident the young person is with their own health care. We make a plan based on the understanding and skills they already have, which can be added to over time.

At about 14 years old, we suggest the young person starts spending some time at their appointments alone with their health care team. This helps the young person to build independence and confidence. It also recognises their right to talk privately with their healthcare team.

We talk with the young person about some of the issues they might face as they get older and how this could affect their health.

Before moving to adult services, we give the young person and their whānau information about the service. We talk with the adult health care team to make sure they are well prepared to take over the health care of the young person.

About adult rheumatology service

Resources for young people