Young people and transition to adult life
Many more children with complex health needs survive into adulthood and need to be optimally equipped and supported to enable them to live fulfilling lives.
Young people who require continuing healthcare into adulthood have generally been transferred from paediatric services at a time of great change in their lives, both physical and emotional. Growing up presents challenges for all young people in today’s society and can be difficult and turbulent.
Experimentation is normal, but its consequences in terms of, for example, sexual health, poor concordance with treatment and disaffection with the healthcare system, can be particularly problematic for those with serious chronic diseases.
The process of maturing from childhood to adulthood is complex for young people, their carers and health providers. Young people move from a model where healthcare decisions are made by parents and others acting in their “best interests” to systems where they are expected and encouraged to do more for themselves.
There are issues about how best to recognise developing autonomy, the appropriate development of services and facilities and the best use of available resources. Focused Healthcare acts as an advocate and embeds transition care as part of adolescent complex health care provision.