What is meant by 'health care transition'?
Transition is the process of developing the skills you need to manage your life and health care more independently.
Why do I need to move to the adult system?
The team that treated you when you were younger specialise in treating children. When you become an adult, it's best that you see doctors who are experts in treating adults.
When you were younger, your parents may have made a lot of decisions for you. As you get older, you will get the opportunity to start making more of these decisions for yourself. Becoming independent like this is one of the exciting things about growing up!
When do I make this transition?
Part of transition involves moving from the children's hospital to the adult health care system.
The transfer of care occurs when you turn 18, but you can start getting ready before then.
How do I prepare for this transition?
Your family, friends, health care team and HeartKids are all here to help you on this journey.
Keep reading for more information!
Transition is a gradual process.
Becoming independent requires a new set of skills, which you will develop over time.
Transition is broken up into stages:
Introductory stage (12 - 15 years)
This stage involves learning more about transition. You may start learning more about your condition and how to manage it to the best of your ability.
Checklist: Where are your health skills at? (PDF)
This is a good time to start looking at your health care skills to see where you are up to.
Complete the checklist
Preparation stage (15 - 17 years)
During this time you can start practicing some of the tasks you will soon start doing independently.
This could include:
- Learning how to take your own medications
- Finding a doctor (GP) that you can trust and spending some time alone with them in appointments
- Booking your own appointments, learning about Medicare, health insurance and how to pay for appointments
Checklist: Are you ready for transition? (PDF)
This is a good time to start testing how ready you are feeling for transition.
Complete the checklist
Transfer stage (18 - 19 years)
You will meet your new adult care team and move to the adult health care system. You will be taking charge of your health care information.
UpBeat can help you store and organise your health information.
Self-referral letter (PDF)
Introduce yourself to your new adult health care team with a self-referral letter.
Write your letter
To be able be responsible for myself and my own appointments, I've actually found really empowering. I've really loved the autonomy that comes with it."
Caitlin - 21 years, Brisbane
Listen to Caitlin's story
Independence is a skill that I've developed over a couple of years and I'm pretty good at it right now."
Kennedy - 23 years, Sydney
Watch Kennedy's story
There is lots of helpful information to help you on your journey to independence.
Resources by HeartKids
These resources explore topics like exercise, alcohol, privacy, travel and more:
Resources by hospitals
Some hospitals run transition programs to help prepare young people for independence.
Even if you weren't a patient at these hospitals, they still have lots of helpful information you can access:
Find out what support is available to help with transition.