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Transitions in Healthcare - A Boardgame

6 drawings of different young people

Over the past 2 years, thanks to funding from The Burdett Trust for Nursing, SBH Scotland has been working on an important project about transition for young people with spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus. As the year draws to an end we’re delighted to introduce the first part of this work - ‘Young Heroes Team’: The Educational Card Game About Moving to Adult Healthcare.

One of the biggest changes a young person with a complex condition can go through is the move from child to adult healthcare services. This process is known as ‘transition’.

With this process comes lots of new experiences. This can be exciting, yet also daunting for the young person and their family. SBH Scotland has therefore created a fun educational card game to help prepare families for the process.

The game is aimed at young people yet to embark on their transition journey. It can be used as a tool for them and their families to learn more about the hurdles and solutions that come with moving into adulthood and adult healthcare services. The game encourages families to have an open discussion about the process in a safe and engaging space.

About ‘Young Heroes Team’ Game

  • 3-6 players can take part in this game either in pairs or individually.
  • Players must work together to get all the ‘Young Heroes’ across the finish line of successful transition.
  • As a team, the players must tackle hurdles and life events and come up with solutions to help the young heroes through their transition journey.
  • The game offers plenty opportunities to discuss the transition process and offers ideas on how to overcome obstacles they may encounter together in the future (in real life).
  • We encourage young people to invite their family and friends to join in with this game – we would even encourage healthcare staff to play the game too!

More About ‘Transition’

‘Transition’ is the process of moving from paediatric to adult healthcare services for young people with complex conditions and their families and/or carers.

This process can be challenging at a time when a young person is growing older and gaining more independence. The age for transition tends to be when the young person is between 15 and 19 years old, however some young people experience it before or after this time. Quite often the process will begin when the young person is not ready. We have concerns about the effect that this will have on the young person as they develop into an adult. In 2014, SBH Scotland published a report highlighting that the lack of planning before moving from paediatric to adult healthcare (transition) placed significant burden on unpaid carers (Levy et al 2014). The study also warned that leaving young people without the continued support they may need put them at risk of not reaching their full potential. Therefore, to tackle this we are keen to encourage better education and planning of the process in young people, families and healthcare professionals.

We would like preparation for this process to begin when the young person is around 14 years old and take place for around two years before they are transferred across services. This is based on ARC Scotland’s ‘Principles of Good Transitions 3’ which encourages transition planning be supported between the ages of 14 and 25. However, we would not discourage families from playing the ‘Young Heroes Team’ game and discussing what they have learned even before the young person turns 14. This is so the family has the best chance to facing the process armed and ready. More resources about transition for young people, families and carers can be accessed here.

Play the Game!

As an organisation, we acknowledge that more needs to be done in healthcare and education settings to improve this process, however in the meantime we hope that this card game will be a step in the right direction for families. We encourage families to play the game and if they have any concerns about the process to reach out to us or a trusted healthcare professional for support about what their next steps should be.

Access the game

More resources for young people, families and carers

More resources for healthcare professionals

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