National Health Service

– Scottish Parliament written question – answered at on 16 July 2010.

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Photo of Mary Scanlon Mary Scanlon Conservative

Question S3W-34705

To ask the Scottish Executive how it will ensure that children and young people with life-limiting and long-term conditions experience a smooth transition with a clearly defined pathway and the necessary support when moving from child to adult NHS services.

Photo of Shona Robison Shona Robison Scottish National Party

NHS boards across Scotland recognise the importance of smooth transition with clearly defined pathways to support children and young people with life limiting and long term conditions moving from child to adult NHS services.

It is recognised that transition arrangements can and should be improved as identified in the National Delivery Plan which highlights that at present adult medicine is not configured to meet the needs of young people moving from paediatric services.

Various work streams involving multiprofessional, multiagency, service users and the voluntary sector are currently underway to address this important issue.

For example, a working group has been established to develop proposals for the long-term care of children with complex and life-limiting conditions. Models of effective transition will be identified and reproduced.

Managed Clinical Networks are also considering transition on a specialty basis and are in the process of developing protocols and pathways. For example, the cancer network CATSCAN has established a Teenagers and Transition Working Group, which is mapping existing services for teenagers and young people in Scotland. A sub Group of The Children with Exceptional Healthcare Needs MCN is currently reviewing care pathways.

The Guidance Hospital Services for Young People in Scotland which was published on 5 May 2009 emphasises the need for good transition arrangements for young people moving into the adult care sector across all specialities. This report expects NHS boards to have the following in place for young people with long term conditions:

Incorporate well-structured transition arrangements that accord with best-practice guidance;

Take advantage of the flexibility offered by the revised age limits to defer formal transfer to adult services until the most appropriate developmental stage for the young person; and

Give consideration to the benefits of identifying a key worker to support each young person through the transition process.

The Guidance is available at:

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2009/05/07130749/10.

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