Loving Kiss From A Big Brother

Child and Adolescent Health Service

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Princess Margaret Hospital

Healthcare transition and transfer information

About healthcare transition

Healthcare transition is the planned movement of a young person from child to adult healthcare services.

Depending on a patient’s health care requirements, ‘adult services’ might mean an adult hospital, a specialist doctor who looks after adults outside a hospital or a general practitioner (GP). PMH staff commence discussions about transition options with patients and families from the time the child turns 13 years old, giving patients time to plan and prepare for adult healthcare services.

Child and adult healthcare services take care of people during different phases of their life. Doctors, nurses and other staff in adult services are specially trained to look after patients as they enter adulthood.

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About healthcare transfer

Transfer is the final act of moving from child to adult healthcare services. Transfer to adult services typically takes place between the ages of 16 and 18. The timing may vary depending on a patient’s readiness, health condition and other life factors that may impact a person’s transfer. Patients play an active role in determining the best time to transfer to adult healthcare services.

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Differences between child and adult healthcare services


Questions may be directed at parent/carer. Patient is expected to understand their own medical condition. Patient will be asked questions directly.
Parent/carer will book appointments on child’s behalf. Patient expected to book your own appointments and keep track of appointment times.
Parent/carer may attend appointments with child. Patient will be treated as an independent adult and this includes deciding who attends appointments with them.
Parent/carer may fill out child’s paperwork, organise medications or pay for appointments. Adult patients are responsible for completing their own paperwork, paying for appointments, filling prescriptions and understanding how to use their Medicare or private health insurance card.

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Tips for preparing for adult appointments

  • Download and complete a transition checklist for young people to assess readiness for transition. Available checklists:
  • Use a diary or mobile phone to set appointment reminders
  • Check prescriptions for the number of repeats left before the appointment, ask the doctor for a repeat prescription at the appointment if required
  • Keep a list of medications and dosage amounts as well as any other vitamins, supplements or other over-the-counter medications taken
  • Prepare a list of questions to ask the doctor before the appointment
  • Remember to bring a current Medicare and private health insurance card (if applicable).


Questions and further information

If you have any questions or concerns about the transition and transfer to adult healthcare services, discuss them directly with your doctor for tailored information and planning relating to your healthcare situation.


Related links

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