Stay informed with the latest updates on coronavirus (COVID-19). Find out more >>

Frequently asked questions for young people

  • When do I need to move to adult health care?

    The timing of your transfer to an adult service will involve a discussion between you and your specialist or another member of your health care team and will be determined in part by when you feel ready and what is going on with your health and in your life generally at the time. We have developed aReadiness to Transfer Checklist that will access your skill and knowledge levels and whether you are prepared for the transfer to adult services. The age of transfer will differ for each young person but should occur before your 19thbirthday. However, you don't have to wait until you're 19; you may be ready to transfer before this time. This is a decision that you will make alongside your health care team and your parents/carers and will be influenced by whether you are studying or working or whether there is a suitable service closer to your home. Transfer should never occur during a period of significant stress or change such as during year 12 or when you aren't very well.

    How can I get my medical history from the RCH?

    When you transfer services you should be given a copy of your medical history in the form of a referral letter or as a medical summary. This letter or summary will be sent to the adult service, your GP, and yourself. Your parents/carers can also request a copy for their records. A copy of this letter will be kept in your medical file at The Royal Children's Hospital (RCH). You can request access to this file through the Freedom of Information process.

    Contact the Freedom of information office on 9345 5156 or 9345 5132 or email or visit the website Clinical Quality and Safety, Freedom of Information.

    What if I don't get along with my new doctor at the adult service?

    Hopefully this won't be a problem for you after you've transferred. If it does happen the first step is to make sure that you have allowed some time to get used to the new doctor. Changes can be difficult to get used to so give it some time. If this doesn't work you can take one of two steps. You can contact your GP for guidance or you can contact the paediatric team that referred you on. Either of these pathways will where possible provide you will an alternative for your adult care and should ensure that you are happy with the doctor you are seeing by providing you with another referral. It is important to seek some guidance if this is an issue for you, as you need to feel comfortable with your medical team and it is important that you don't 'drop out' of health care.

    Should my parent/carer attend appointments with me at the adult service?

    The aim of transition is to encourage independence in your health care within the limitations of your condition. Most adult doctors will not expect you to have your parent/carer with you when you visit. Others won't mind as much. The idea is that you need to be comfortable with the decision made but also be able to manage all aspects of your medical condition for those times when you may not have someone to accompany you. Have a discussion with your parent/carer about visiting on your own on some occasions. Hopefully by the time you transfer to adult services you will have already begun attending part of your appointments without your parent/carer by your side. Attending solo appointments at your paediatric service will make it a lot easier to attend solo appointments at the adult service.

    How do I become more independent?

    This can be a tricky question to answer and depends on your level of confidence in handling new things and adding new challenges for yourself around your health care. It is important to discuss this question with your parents/carers as they will be able to negotiate options with you. Some good first steps to independence are; begin solo appointments, start booking your appointments by yourself, fill in your own prescriptions, and apply for your own Medicare card. All these suggestions are small but significant first steps but make sure you discuss them with your parent/carer. Check out our Independence: taking control of your health care page for more tips and tricks.

    How do I get more information about adult services?

    Talk to your doctor and members of your health care team about the different options out there; they will most likely be able to give you information about the department within the adult service that you are moving to. They may also be able to give you information including brochures or web links about the adult service, its location, services etc. You can also check out our page Independence: taking control of your health care for information on different hospitals both public and private within Victoria.