The Transition Programme is a 5-year programme of research, funded by the National Institute of Health Research, examining how health services can contribute most effectively to the successful transition of young people with complex health needs from childhood to adulthood.

The overall aim of the Programme is to provide NHS commissioners and trusts with evidence about what might help young people with long-term health problems as they transfer from child to adult services. This will help them to allocate resources and structure services accordingly. Within this larger aim, the Programme has three objectives. These are to:

  1. To work with young people with complex health needs to determine what successful transition means to them and what is important in their transitional care
  2. To identify the features of transitional care that are effective and efficient
  3. To determine how transitional care should be organised, provided and commissioned.

The Transition Programme is sponsored by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Trust, and it works in close partnership with Newcastle University. The Programme involves further NHS Trusts across the UK and the voluntary sector.

The Transition Programme looks to improve health services for all young people with long-term health conditions and is not condition-specific. However for one research stream (a longitudinal study), the 374 young people recruited were approached to take part if they had one of three exemplar conditions:

• Diabetes
• Autism Spectrum Disorder
• Cerebral Palsy

Who is involved in this study?

The Chief Investigator for this study is Prof Allan Colver  

Allan Colver

Co-applicants on the Programme from the Neurodevelopment and Disability team are:

‌‌Ann Le Couteur‌

  • Professor of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Honorary Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Northumberland, Tyne & Wear NHS Foundation Trust

‌‌Helen McConachie‌

  • Strategic Research Adviser
  • Professor of Child and Adolescent Clinical Psychology

Jeremy Parr

  • Clinical Senior Lecturer, Newcastle University
  • Honorary Consultant Paediatrician, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

From outside the team, the co-applicants are:

  • Caroline Bennett (Council for Disabled Children)
  • Gail Dovey-Pearce (Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust)
  • Janet McDonagh (University of Manchester and the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital)
  • Mark Pearce (Newcastle University)
  • Debbie Reape (Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust)
  • Luke Vale (Newcastle University)

And two advisors:

  • Helena Gleeson (University Hospitals Leicester)
  • Nichola Chater (Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)

More information



Twitter: @TransitionRes                                                    

Call: Allan Colver (Programme Chief Investigator) on 0191 282 5966 or Alison Mulvenna (Programme Administrator) on 0191 282 1389

Other research

Transition sits within the 'Engaging young people and families' research theme.

If you are looking for other research linked to ASD, Cerebral Palsy incl. Hemiplegia, Mental Health, Outcome Measurement or Quality of Life and Participation, please view the relevant conditions and topics page.