Eluned Morgan MS, Minister for Health and Social Services
The transition between children’s and adult healthcare services for young people with long-term health needs is an important time for children and young people and one which needs improvement to ensure continuity of care and services.
Issues around transition and handover have been raised in recent years by the Children, Young People and Education Committee and by the Children’s Commissioner for Wales.
We have developed new guidance, following extensive consultation, to improve the care young people, aged 16 to 25, receive during this period – it covers the time before, during and after they move from children's to adult services. It aims to ensure young people and their carers have a better experience of transition by improving the way care is planned and carried out.
Young people will be fully involved in the way transition and the handover of care between children’s and adult services is planned, implemented and reviewed. Planning for transition should start when a young person is 13 or 14.
It is important care is provided in a developmentally appropriate, patient-centred way without any loss in the quality of services provided, ensuring on-going engagement and good patient experience.
The guidance supports consistent implementation of National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance. We expect that guidance to be underpinned by robust governance arrangements and administrative processes and procedures locally. All NHS organisations must have a clear accountability and delivery mechanism in place, which includes the identification and designation of a transition and handover senior lead, who will have accountability for ensuring implementation and quality of the transition and handover guidance across all primary, community, secondary and specialist (tertiary) services provided by their organisation.
NHS organisations will also identify and appoint a transition and handover named worker to support the transition and handover of healthcare for every young person.