Coming into hospital for children and young people

Here’s some general information to help you and your child prepare for their appointments and to make their stay as easy and comfortable as possible.

Pre-admission

If your child needs an operation, you’ll be invited to bring them to a pre-admission visit. During the visit:

  • You can meet some of the staff who’ll be looking after your child
  • You’ll be given an explanation of what to expect throughout your child’s admission
  • Your child’s weight, height, temperature, pulse and blood pressure may be measured
  • Swabs for MRSA will be taken to help protect them against certain infections if they’ve been in hospital in the last 12 months
  • It’s policy to perform a pregnancy test for teenage girls over the age of 12 years – we understand this can be a sensitive subject to talk about, but it’s for our patients’ safety

You’ll be given an information pack about your child’s treatment, hospital stay and aftercare to help you and your child prepare. If you have any questions or special requirements, our staff will be happy to help you.

For young people aged 16 to 18, you can choose to be looked after on our children’s ward or an adult ward.

On the day

Your child will have their own private, en-suite room.

The consultant surgeon and consultant anaesthetist for your child will explain what’s going to happen during and after the procedure, and you’ll be asked to sign a form consenting to the operation. Young people (aged 16 or 17) can consent to their own treatment.

If your child is having an operation involving general anaesthetic:

  • You can accompany your child to the operating theatre
  • You’re welcome to stay with them until they’re asleep
  • Our medical staff will invite you to come with them to collect your child from the recovery area and take them back to the ward

All of the staff who’ll be looking after your child in the operating theatre and recovery area have received additional training in caring for children.

Your child's stay

On the ward, your child will be cared for by nurses specially trained in looking after children – a registered sick children’s nurse or a nurse with a child branch certificate. The children’s nurse allocated to you will be present throughout your stay on the day of the procedure.

To help make your child’s stay as comfortable as possible, we provide:

  • A range of age appropriate toys, books and a TV is provided with DVD facilities for your child to bring their favourite DVDs to watch – you can also bring your child’s favourite toys or comforters
  • Free WiFi for patients and visitors – however, we take children’s internet safety seriously and encourage parents to refer to the guidance set out by the NSPCC on how to keep your child safe online
  • A special children’s menu with freshly prepared meals, and we’ll always try to accommodate if they’d like something that’s not on the menu – we also offer a meal service for one parent

When your child is ready to leave, their nurse will explain any aspects of care you’ll need to help with while at home – such as dressing changes or helping with mobility. They’ll also explain how we can continue to support you and who to contact if you have any questions while at home.

Visitors

Parents and carers can visit anytime during the day. We understand how important it is that your child feels safe and happy throughout their stay, so we encourage family members to be around as much as they feel is necessary. Extended family members can visit between 9am to 9pm.

Our nurses are very experienced in caring for children of all ages and we’ll work with you to ensure that your child has the best possible experience with us.

Contact information

Donna Oldham – Children and Young Person Lead

Children’s Ward – 01634 662844

Out of Hours (Main Reception): 01634 687166

Email: info@spirealexandra.com

Get in touch

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