TRANSITION IS EVERYONE'S BUSINESS
Dr Andrew Kennedy, Paediatrician and Adolescent Medicine Champion, talks about the importance of early preparation and offers some tips for you:
Working in a paediatric setting means that you start the process of effective self-management for young people. How you go about this preparation can be instrumental for alleviating anxiety that young people and their parents/carers often feel about leaving the children’s hospital.
Clinicians speak about their own sadness and anxiety when saying goodbye to young people they have cared for since they were children. In this process of ‘letting go’, it is important for young people to feel well prepared for the adult health system and to be strong advocates for themselves.
As a paediatric health professional, you can lead the way with good transition planning and preparation.
GETTING THE PROCESS STARTED
Here are some tips on getting the process started:
Tip 1: Start early- from 14 years see the young person on their own and complete the Young Person’s Checklist with them
Tip 2: Encourage self-management – talk to the young person about what they know and don’t know
Tip 3: Complete a HEEADSSS interview to identify protective and vulnerable factors
Tip 4: Complete the Transition Readiness Checklist with the young person and identify areas to work on
Tip 5: Develop a transition plan and identify goals with the young person
Tip 6: Write referrals to adult services and ensure appointments are made before leaving the children’s hospital
Tip 7: Arrange a joint transition clinic so the young person can meet the new adult team and the teams can have a smooth handover
Tip 8: Be sure to send appropriate paperwork including a discharge of care summary and transition plan to the adult team
Here are some useful tools for you as a paediatric clinician and for your service: