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Finally, and perhaps most importantly, a transition or handover plan needs to be developed and set out as early as possible. It should outline the transition of users from a decommissioned service to any new service they have been supported to move to.

The transition plan will set out the arrangements for any aspect of the winding down of a service and/or the transfer to a new provider as part of any re-commissioning exercise. The plan should cover the disposal of any assets and contractual obligations, however minor, such as contracts for utilities and equipment. Maintaining continuity of service throughout the decommissioning process needs to be planned for in detail, including where referrals can continue to be made and the transfer of any specific cases to a new or other provider.

If there is no new service, the transition plan needs to consider how any remaining needs of users of decommissioned services will continue to be met. Good practice at this stage aims to grow alternative sources of support for users, such as local community associations, or ensure that there are signposts in place to enable users to find alternative support.