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How can we be prepared for coming into hospital?

Be honest and talk to your child regardless of their age, whether they are a child or a young person, about hospital and what is going to happen.
You and your child can visit the hospital before admission. This will give you both a chance to ask questions, listen to advice and tell us about any specific requirements your child may have.

How long will my child be in hospital?

Please ask the ward staff who will discuss your child’s discharge arrangements with you.

What if my child is unwell before admission for surgery?

Surgery will be postponed if your child has or recently had:

Up to four weeks before admission:

  • Been in contact with chickenpox
  • Not been immunised and has been in contact with measles, mumps or rubella

Up to two weeks before admission:

  • Has had a productive cough, cold, nasal discharge or temperature

Admission will then be rearranged for a later date.

If your child is admitted for surgery and develops a temperature following admission, the operation will be postponed until later. Your child will be discharged home and a new admission date will be agreed with you.

What if my child has specific requirements?

If you or your child has specific requirements please ask to speak to the person in charge of the ward/unit on your child’s admission.

Consent to treatment

You may need to sign a consent form. Please ensure that the person who has legal responsibility for your child accompanies them to hospital. The people who can give consent are:

  • The child’s mother
  • The child’s father if he is married to the mother*
  • A legally appointed guardian with a residence order
  • A local authority with a designated care order.

Please note:

If the child was born before 1st December 2003 and the child’s father is not married to the mother, to give consent he must have acquired parental responsibility through the courts.

If the child was born after 1st December 2003 and the child’s father is not married to the mother, to give consent he must either have registered the child’s birth jointly with the mother or acquired parental responsibility through the courts.

All relevant documentation must be produced on admission otherwise we will not be able to treat your child.

What will we need to bring?


Please bring any medication your child is taking. This includes all medicines, inhalers, creams or other medication that your child takes. You should give these to a member of the ward staff on arrival.

Personal Belongings

These are suggested items that you and your child may wish to bring if your child is admitted as a day case:

  • Nappies
  • Books/comics/DVDs (please label these)
  • Comfort toys (avoid expensive toys)
  • If your child is admitted for one night or longer you should bring the items listed above as well as the following:
  • Day and night clothes
  • Toothbrush and paste
  • Facecloth and soap
  • Hairbrush/comb
  • Towel
  • Your own tea, coffee, milk (please label these)
  • Mobile phones are not permitted on wards. Please ask the person in charge of the ward/unit about the use of mobile phones.

Any personal belongings are the responsibility of the parent/carer. There is limited storage space at each bed.


  • Breastfeeding facilities are available. Please ask the ward staff.
  • If your child is following a diet or on a feed recommended by your doctor or dietitian please contact the ward or your dietitian two days before admission so we can arrange this for you.
  • You will be given a menu each day to help your child select their food. A range of meals are available including many special diets e.g. Halal, Kosher and vegetarian. Please speak to your child’s nurse.

Can I stay overnight?

Yes, but we can only provide sleeping facilities for one parent/carer. This may be by your child’s bed or in parent accommodation. Staff on the ward will advise you on the options and you can also find out more at Family support service.

We are a teaching hospital

Our Trust is involved in teaching medical, nursing and other students and because of this there may be students on the ward. Staff will ask you beforehand if you would mind students being present.

Although we would appreciate your agreement, we do realise that you and your child may wish to talk with the doctor/nurse privately. We will always respect your wishes and whatever you decide will not affect your child’s treatment in any way.