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Transition from children’s to adults’ services for young people using health or social care services (NICE Guideline NG43)
  1. Emily R Willis1,
  2. Janet E McDonagh2,3
  1. 1 Paediatric Department, Royal Albert Edward Infirmary Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust, Wigan, UK
  2. 2 Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  3. 3 Paediatric and Adolescent Rheumatology, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT), Manchester, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Emily R Willis, Paediatric Department, Royal Albert Edward Infirmary, Wrightington Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust, Wigan WN1 2NN, UK; emiwillis{at}

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Preventing adolescents becoming lost in the transfer between paediatric and adult health services remains a major challenge. Transition is the process of preparation for this transfer and includes the initial planning, the transfer itself and the support provided throughout, including that provided in adult care.1 Ideally, transition should be ‘a purposeful and planned process’2 provided as a core component of developmentally appropriate healthcare (DAH) for all young people (YP) during adolescence and young adulthood. In reality, the process is often poorly coordinated.1 According to a recent Royal College of Physicians (RCP) report, only about half of adolescents and young adults with chronic disease receive any preparation for this transfer of healthcare.3

Information about current guideline

In February 2016, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published a guideline entitled ‘Transition from children’s to adults’ services for young people using health or social care services’ (box 1).1 The guideline covers the period before, during and after a young person moves from children’s to adults’ services and aims ‘to help young people have a better experience of transition by improving the way it’s planned and carried out’.1

An associated Quality Standard (QS140) was published in December 2016.4 This consists of a number of statements describing high-quality care for all YP using health and social care services who are due to make the transfer to adult services.4

An overview of the guideline was published in the British Medical Journal in May 2016.5

In this paper, we summarise the guideline specifically focusing on the most important practice points for the general paediatrician (see box 2 for key terminology).

Previous guideline(s)

Over the last two decades, the importance of transition has been increasingly recognised within both paediatric and adult sectors. Although there has been much literature outlining agreed principles of …

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  • Contributors ERW wrote the initial manuscript. JEMcD reviewed and contributed to the development of the final manuscript.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.