If you’ve had diabetes since you were a child, at some point you will need to transfer to an adult clinic. This is so that you get the most appropriate support and advice about your diabetes as you move into adulthood.
Transferring your diabetes care from a children’s hospital to an adult hospital may seem scary. If you make a plan for this then things should go smoothly.
When will this happen?
There isn’t really a fixed age – transition from the children’s to the adult clinic is decided on an individual basis. It will depend on your own needs, wishes and what’s going on in your life at the time. Most doctors and nurses will discuss this with you well in advance so you can prepare properly.
What's different about the adult clinic?
The main difference is that you will be expected to take much more responsibility for your diabetes. It will be up to you to contact your doctor or nurse if you are having any problems.
Mighty DUK's Top Tips on transferring
• Talk to your consultant about when your care will be transferring to an adult hospital.
• Find out which hospital your care will be transferring to.
• Find out how to get to the hospital and the clinic you will be attending.
• Find out how to make or change an appointment.
• Make sure you know who your new consultant will be and any other staff involved in your care - e.g. diabetes specialist nurse.
• Know who to contact for help and support between appointments.
• Ask to meet and talk with your new diabetes care team before you transfer.
• Ask about the possibility of a joint appointment with your current team and your new team before you transfer.
• Ask about a young person’s clinic or any local groups
Talk to... someone who'll listen
Feelings of depression are common in people with diabetes and other long-term conditions. You may want to talk to someone about any problems you are facing, or how you are feeling.
To talk to a trained counsellor, you can call Diabetes Scotland’s helpline on 0141 212 8710 who can provide support and information. Monday–Friday, 9am–7pm. You can also email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If counsellors at Helpline Scotland are unavailable, calls will automatically be forwarded to the Helpline service in London. All calls and emails to the Helpline, and Helpline Scotland, are treated in total confidence.
Your doctor or nurses...
Your doctors and nurses are just people. It’s their job to support you and make sure you are ok, not to tell you off and give you additional grief.
The doctors and nurses genuinely want the best for you and, as you can see from other parts of this website, a good relationship with them can make a massive difference to how you see your T1.
Understanding your diabetes
If you don’t understand something, or you want more information, just ask. You should not feel nervous or scared to ask questions. The doctor is there to help you. There is no such thing as a stupid question...
If you don’t understand what the doctor says... Speak up!
Doctors are often busy and sometimes do not take enough time to explain things properly. They work with diabetes every day. Things that seem simple to them may be complicated to you. If you say, “I didn’t understand that”, you’ll remind them that not everyone is an expert.
If you have any questions or worries about your treatment... Speak up!
It’s your life and you are in control of it! The doctor is there to explain to you what medicines you are taking and why you are taking them. Your doctor should also help you plan your treatment so that it fits in with your daily life.
If you are unsure about how to take your medicine... Speak up!
It is very important that diabetes medicines are taken correctly.
Mighty DUK's Top Tips on talking to doctors
• Take notes. Some people find it helpful to take notes when talking to the doctor. That way you make sure that you have understood and remembered what was discussed.
• Ask questions. Write down questions you have before your appointment. If you have made a note of things then you won't forget.