Young people with spina bifida: Transfer from paediatric to adult health care

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An expectation of health care for young people with disability is that quality coordinated care continues to be available as they pass from the paediatric to the adult health care system. While individual clinicians provide this service well, the widespread absence of coordinated multidisciplinary care for young people with spina bifida in the adult health care system is a major deficiency. This paper describes the planning and implementation that underpinned the transfer of 10 young people with spina bifida from a paediatric to an adult service. The range of structural, financial and 'cultural' barriers that need to be overcome before patients can be successfully transferred is highlighted; lessons learned from this model may serve to facilitate the development of other transfer services.

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