adult health services

If your child has health issues, you’ll need to think about the switch from children’s to adult health services as part of their transition plan and ensure they get the support they need.

doctorWe found it was useful to try to predict changes in their health needs and to help our children become more responsible for their own health.

Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) include more about health needs than the old Statements of SEN and can carry on until a young person is 19 or even 25 in some cases. This should help in the planning for transition to adult health services. But it remains the case that a number of things will change for your child in terms of health services.

As an adult, your child will use different, often more general, health services. For example, a young person with joint problems may always have been seen on the same children’s ward, but once they reach 18 they’ll need to use a general hospital ward where the majority of other people may be elderly. Other therapies and services may stop. Some of the services provided for children and families don’t have equivalents in adult health services. For example, you might get family therapy from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), but not from adult mental health services. For many, the biggest change will be if you have had a community paediatrician overseeing your child’s health needs; when your child reaches 18, their GP will take over.

The ‘Health and medical matters’ chapter in our Through the Next Maze 2016 handbook explains how health services are organised and how the transition from child to adult health services works in Brighton & Hove. Much of the information in this chapter, will also be relevant for East Sussex families too though particular services will differ according to where you live. Visit East Sussex Local Offer for information about preparing for adult life.

Download Through the Next Maze – Chapter 7 – Health and medical matters [pdf 273kb]

Or read more in our section about health for children and young people with SEND.

I have found that even the most informed doctor or health person cannot provide the most basic of information if you don’t phrase the question in the right way. It’s frustrating because often you don’t know the right question to ask. The only way as I see it, is to keep making it clear that you need clarity and detail. When I had to deal with the last problem which didn’t seem to have a solution, I asked the doctor what the possibilities were, and this got a much better response.

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