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 shown around to help you all feel more familiar with the hospital
  • Your child will be given an explanation about what will happen during their hospital stay and, if appropriate to their age, get to play with some of the equipment they may see during their hospital stay
  • The nurse will explain what to expect both before and after your child’s operation, tell you about pain relief medication, the aftercare and how long your child may need off school following surgery
  • The nurses will ask questions about your child’s medical and social history
  • Your child’s weight, height, temperature, pulse may be measured
  • It’s policy to perform a pregnancy test for teenage girls over the age of 12 years, or younger girls who have started their periods – we understand this can be a sensitive subject to talk about, but it’s for our patients’ safety

For young people aged 16 or 17, you'll be asked some questions about your understanding of your surgery and hospital stay. Together with your family and the nurses, you can then choose to be looked after on our children’s ward or an adult ward.

The pre-assessment appointment is the ideal time for both you and your child to ask questions about their operation and hospital stay. If you have any questions or special requirements, our staff will be happy to help you.

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.

On the day

Your child will have their own private en-suite room on a specialised children’s ward. If your child is staying overnight we will ask that a parent stays with them. An additional bed will be provided in your child’s room

The consultant surgeon and consultant anaesthetist for your child will explain what’s going to happen during and after the procedure, and a person with parental responsibility will be asked to sign a form consenting to the operation. Young people aged 16 or 17 can consent to their own treatment if they're able to demonstrate a true understanding of their surgery .

If your child is having an operation involving general anaesthetic:

  • One parent will be able to accompany your child to the operating theatre and stay with them until they’re asleep
  • Our nursing staff will invite one parent 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. We’re home to a large in-house team of specialist children’s nurses who work in close conjunction with the consultant team.

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 videos – you can also bring your child’s favourite toys or comforters
  • A a dedicated play room and a trained play leader
  • 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, that are cooked to order once your child has begun recovering from their surgery, 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 or night. We understand how important it is that your child feels safe and happy throughout their stay, so we ask one parent/carer stays with the child throughout their hospital stay. We encourage family members to be around as much as they feel is necessary. Parents/carers are actively encouraged to be fully involved with every aspect of their child’s hospital stay.

Visiting hours will be unrestricted for parents and family. However the number of visitors may be restricted at the nurse’s discretion. At pre-assessment a discussion will be held with parents to ensure suitable visiting/supervision is arranged for siblings whilst the child is in hospital.

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

Hospital number: 0113 269 3939

Get in touch

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