Preparing for adulthood and continuing healthcare

Transitioning into Adult Health Services

Children’s health services should identify young people who are likely to need adult continuing healthcare, and notify the Integrated Care Board (ICB) which will be responsible for them as adults. Children’s health services should do this when a young person reaches the age of 14. This should be followed up by a formal referral for screening to the adult continuing healthcare team at the relevant ICB, when the young person reaches 16.

As soon as possible after the young person’s 17th birthday, eligibility for adult continuing healthcare should be decided by the ICB. The ICB will follow the process set out in the children and young person’s continuing care national framework and arrange a package of care in time for the young person’s 18th birthday, if they are eligible. The process can start earlier if the young person has complex needs or they are already getting help as part of an Education, Health and Care Plan. 

Where a young person gets support in a placement outside the ICB’s area, it is important that at an early stage in the planning process, the ICBs involved agree who will be responsible for the young person when they become an adult. Depending on the young person’s circumstances, responsibility for providing care might transfer from one ICB to another. The young person will not be left without care and support whilst responsibility is being agreed.

For more general information on preparing for adulthood please visit Preparing for adulthood or SEND Local Offer.

Page last updated: 03 May 2023