Editorials

Transition of care in children with chronic disease

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39232.425197.BE (Published 14 June 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:1231
  1. Colin Wallis, consultant respiratory paediatrician
  1. Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust, London WC1N 3JH
  1. c.wallis{at}ich.ucl.ac.uk

    Healthcare teams need to adapt to change as much as patients and their families

    In this week's BMJ, a woman with cystic fibrosis describes her experience of living with the disease from childhood to adulthood.1 Among the many challenges she describes is the “rocky road” of transition from paediatric to adult health care. She says that she would have given anything to attend a transition clinic when she was 16 years old, instead of going straight to an adult clinic at another hospital.

    Cystic fibrosis was previously considered a lethal disorder of childhood, but as survival improves, the need for continuous care into adulthood becomes more important. For the past two decades the global cystic fibrosis community has recognised the importance of transferring care from paediatric to adult services, and has set an example for services in other chronic conditions to follow.2

    Transition to adult care for any child with a chronic life limiting illness should not consist of just transfer to a doctor who treats adults. It should be a clinical and psychosocial …

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