Transition Stories

“I was ready for the next step in my burns care”

Key Differences

There are many things that are similar between child and adult services, for example, in both child and adult services you have a named doctor or consultant. In some services they may even be the same person!


Along with the consultant, there is a team of staff with whom you may have some treatment sessions. They include nurses, physiotherapists, psychologists and occupational therapists. You will be introduced to them when you visit the service.


The adult burns team work very closely with the children’s burns team and together they will discuss any issues that are important in your care prior to your transition, to make sure you are given the treatment you need.


However, there can be a few differences between child and adult services. One main difference is the amount of independence you are given.


In adult services the clinical team will normally spend more time talking to you during your appointments than your parents/carers. You may feel a bit nervous or daunted about this. It is ok to have your parents with you and to ask their opinion about your treatment if you want to, but you will begin to feel more able to make you own decision about treatment, or to speak up about any concerns you have.


Another difference is that if you have any overnight stays in the adult burns unit your parents or carers will only be able to visit you during visiting hours rather than staying overnight in your room. We understand that this may feel like quite a big change to adjust to.


Prescription medications are free for children. Depending on your circumstances, as an adult you may be expected to pay for any medication the doctor prescribes. If you require regular medication and you are expected to pay for this, it might be cheaper to organise a prescription prepayment certificate. For more information on whether you will be eligible for free prescriptions and how to organise a prepayment certificate see


The table below summarises some key differences:

Child Service

Child health settings tend to be family focused.

Adult Service

Adult health services will tend to treat you as an independent adult and may not routinely include your family.


You are entitled to bring someone with you to your appointments. It often helps to have someone else there for support.

Child Service

Questions are often directed towards your parents or caregivers.

Adult Service

Questions will be directed towards you.


Think about what your concerns are before your outpatient appointment. Write these down and bring this list with you to your appointment. It is easy to forget what you want to ask when you are seeing a health care professional, especially in a new setting.

Child Service

There is usually more flexibility with appointments.

Adult Service

You will be expected to make your own appointments and keep them at the time arranged. Often in adult services if you do not turn up for your appointment and you do not call beforeHand to say that you cannot make it, the system will automatically discharge you.


If you know you have a lot of concerns to discuss, you could ask for a longer appointment. Usually when you are attending your first appointment at the new hospital, a longer appointment will be arranged for you anyway.