ED Transitions: flexible timings of transitions

    This page forms part of our "supporting age-related transitions in eating disorders" resources.

    Guidance from the Royal College of Psychology (RCPsych) states that decisions about the timing of transitions between Childhood and Adolescent Eating Disorder Services (CAEDS) and Adult Eating Disorder Services (AEDS) should consider the following factors:

    • The young person's degree of maturity and independence from family
    • Links with other medical and social services
    • The views of the patient and carers
    • The need for ongoing work with the family/carers
    • Education and employment issues

    Transitions should be delayed if there is a crisis.

    Our table below outlines some practical approaches for each of the key factors:

    • Young person's maturity and separation from family

      If maturity is low and dependence on family is high, consider continuation of family work under CAEDS with a co-therapist from AEDS, and/or individual treatment from AEDS. Frame transition as an opportunity for personal growth.

    • Need for ongoing work with the family

      As above, or consider offering multi-family group given its suitability in older adolescents/emerging adults. If available, give family members the option of attending a carers support group.

    • Education/employment issues

      Consider delaying transition till after important exams .

    • Links with other medical and social services

      GP and other relevant services to be involved at the planning stage (e.g. in a short meeting), as needed.

    • Wishes of patients and carers

      At the start of the transition process, ask for the views of the patients and carers on what they ideally would want the transition to look like, and what support they will need. 

    • Delaying transition if there is a crisis

      Delay the transition till the YP has stabilised