This guideline covers the period before, during and after a young person moves from children's to adults' services. It aims to help young people and their carers have a better experience of transition by improving the way it’s planned and carried out. It covers both health and social care.

NICE has developed information for young people and their carers to help them to understand what good transition should include and look like. This information explains what care young people and their parents or carers should expect from children's and adults' services during transition. It suggests questions to ask, and where to find further help.

The Care Quality Commission uses NICE guidelines as evidence to inform the inspection process.


This guideline includes recommendations on:

Who is it for?

  • Health and social care providers
  • Health and social care practitioners in children’s and adult health, mental health and social care services
  • Other practitioners working with young people who use health and social care services, for example, those working in education and employment agencies
  • Young people using heath or social care services who may need support from adults’ services in the future, and their parents or carers

Commissioners should ensure that any service specifications take into account the recommendations in this guideline and the NICE quality standard on transition from children’s to adults’ services.

Guideline development process

How we develop NICE guidelines

Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals and practitioners are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or the people using their service. It is not mandatory to apply the recommendations, and the guideline does not override the responsibility to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual, in consultation with them and their families and carers or guardian.

All problems (adverse events) related to a medicine or medical device used for treatment or in a procedure should be reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency using the Yellow Card Scheme.

Local commissioners and providers of healthcare have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual professionals and people using services wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with complying with those duties.

Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.