Together for Short Lives
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Transition to Adult Services Pathway

We know that the population of young people with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions is growing and that young people are living longer with increasingly complex health conditions. It is therefore vital that services keep pace and support these young people to live their lives to the full. Whilst palliative care will be a key part of their experience of transition to adult services, what is most important is that they are able to live well with their complex health conditions.

This pathway is written for professionals, predominantly for those working in children’s and adult hospice and palliative care services, but also for any professionals who are supporting young adults with life-limiting conditions and their families, whether they work in health, social care, education or other settings. We hope that it will also be a useful tool for commissioners to support the planning and funding of multi-agency transition pathways for local populations of young people with complex health needs.

It aims to provide a generic framework that can be adapted locally to plan multi-agency services for young people with life-limiting or life-threatening health conditions as they are growing up and moving into adult service provision. Multi-agency working involves services in the statutory, voluntary and independent sectors, as well as those employed directly by the young person and their family through direct payments. We hope that it can be used as an overarching transition framework across agencies and be used in conjunction with other pathways and guidelines developed for specific conditions or particular settings.

This new edition of the Stepping Up Transition Pathway for 2023 builds on previous editions and has been updated to include new service examples from projects that were funded through our Improving Transition for Young People Programme, which was led by Together for Short Lives from 2017-2022. It is updated with new evidence and to reflect developments in transition for young people with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions.

We hope that you will find this pathway a useful tool. If you have any comments or suggestions or would like support in its implementation, please do contact us.


Order a printed copy

If you would like to receive a printed copy or copies of the pathway, please complete the form below and we will be in touch to arrange delivery. Generally printed resources are available at no charge for young-people, families and care professionals. However, especially when multiple copies are requested, we may ask for a contribution towards postage and printing costs. Unfortunately we are unable to post outside of the UK.