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Preparing for Adulthood - Being healthy and well

Until the age of 18, the care of children and young people with health needs comes under children's health and social care services. From the age of 18, they are usually the responsibility of adult services. This may mean that you may start seeing a different health team at your local hospital or health and social services department.

The video below shows the experiences of three young people at Great Ormond Street Hospital as they move from children's to adults healthcare services.

To find out more..



Moving from Children's to Adults Healthcare Services 

The word “transition” is used to describe the process of preparing and moving from Children’s to Adult services.  It is a gradual process and involves deciding what health needs you will have as an adult and which services are best for you and which you are eligible for. 

Your move to adult services will take place at different times and in different ways depending on the clinical speciality and your particular needs but will usually take place between the ages of 16 to 19.  As you are approaching the age of transition, you and your parents/carers should discuss transition planning with your paediatrician or your GP.

There should be a detailed exchange of information between the Children's and Adult healthcare services and a transition plan in place before you move to Adult healthcare.  The transition plan should say who is lead person for your transition.

A young person with a Statement of Special Educational Needs/ Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan will discuss what help you will need as an adult at your Annual Review meeting when you are 14 years old (Year 9).  The Annual Review is organised by the school and will plan the support to meet your health needs as you move towards adulthood as well as your social care and educational needs. A Health representative may attend your Annual Review meeting to support the transition process.  Transition planning into adult health services will also be included in your Education, Health and Care Plan. 

People aged 14 and over who have been assessed as having moderate, severe or profound learning disabilities, or people with a mild learning disability who have other complex health needs, are also entitled to a free annual health check with their GP. The Annual Health Check may also be a good opportunity to review any transitional arrangements that takes place when you turn 18.


Further information

You can find information on the Ready, Steady, Go Transition Programme to support health transition planning and the work to start up this programme locally by Thames Valley Strategic Clinical Network.   

There are also a number of websites under 'Related Links' to the right of this page which provide further information such as moving on from the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).

You can find more information about transition planning for young people with disabilities on the NHS website.


Continuing Healthcare 

Children and young people who have ongoing complex health needs may receive support from Children's Continuing Care.  Continuing care support is put in place if a child has needs from a disability or illness that can't met by existing universal or specialist services alone.  You can find detailed information about this in the NHS Children's Continuing Care framework.

The criteria for Adult Continuing Health Care is different from Children’s Continuing Care.  

The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead’s Children and Young People Disability Service will work jointly with Adult Social Care and Health colleagues at an early stage to see if you are likely to need support from Adult Continuing Health Care and to manage the transition process.  When you are aged 17 years old if you have continuing health needs they will arrange for any applications to be made to Adult Continuing Health Care.

Adults receiving NHS Continuing Healthcare and children receiving Continuing Care have a right to a personal health budget. Personal health budgets aim to give people with long term conditions and disabilities greater choice and control over the care they receive.    Information about Personal Health Budgets is also on the NHS website.

You can find more information about Continuing Healthcare for adults and its eligibility on the NHS website.


Who can provide help and advice about accessing Health Services? 

The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) also offers confidential advice, support and information on health-related matters.

Healthwatch Windsor, Ascot and Maidenhead (WAM) is the local Champion for everyone who uses local health and social care services in the area.  It aims to improve the quality of the health and social care services you receive.

SEAP also provide advocacy support to help resolves concerns you have about your health and well-being or your health and social care services.   An advocate might help you to access the information you need or support you in meetings or speak on your behalf. 

The Information, Advice and Support Service (IAS) provides impartial and confidential advice to young people.  This covers all aspects of Education, Social Care and Health related to your special educational needs and disabilities.


How do I find my nearest GP or dentist? 

You can find your nearest GP, dentist or pharmacy by entering a postcode into the NHS Choices service finder.

There are also specialist dentists for adults who have special needs that make it hard for general dentists to treat them.  This includes people with learning and physical disabilities.You can be referred by your own dentist, doctor, or other healthcare or social care professional.

Other health services for young people

You can find information about all the local and national organisations who provide health services on the Local Offer for 14-25 year olds.  These include services to support your mental health and well being, counselling services, substance misuse and sexual health services.


Sports and leisure activities in the area 

You can find information about all the different sports and leisure activities in the local area to help you keep fit and well by searching the directory.  Some of these mainstream activities which all young people can go to and others are especially for people with special needs and disabilities.  

If you are looking for a particular activity such as 'swimming' or 'dance classes' you can type this word into the key word search at the top of the page.  You can also sort the information by your area and any needs you have.

There are specialist sports centre like Sportsable in Braywick that offer a range of sports activities including archery, water-skiing, sailing, swimming, wheelchair basketball, boccia, archery, table tennis and much more. 

There are 6 main Leisure Centres in Windsor and Maidenhead.  Some of the centres also offer specific classes and activities for young people with special needs and disabilities. This includes the swimmobility programme at Magnet and Windsor Leisure Centres for residents who receive the higher rate of disability allowance. 


Young people's stories 

You can find some tips from young people about managing your health care on the following website

Preparing for Adulthood