Whether you’re coming to hospital for the first time, or are already a patient, we have all the information you need about being treated at our Children’s Centre.

Coming for an appointment

You might need to come for an appointment at our Children’s Outpatient Department at Gloucestershire Royal or Cheltenham General Hospital, either because you have already been in hospital and we need to make sure you are getting better, or your local doctor might have asked for you to be seen by a specialist team at the hospital.

  • We will weigh you when you arrive
  • We will take your temperature
  • We will check your heart beat and blood pressure
  • We will explain this to you so you are not scared.

Our Outpatients Departments are really fun places. While you’re waiting for your name to be called, we have lots of toys for you to play with and other things to do.  

When your name is called out, you will go and see the doctor or nurse. Try not to be scared- everyone is really friendly and will answer any questions that you might have. They might want to listen to your chest with a stethoscope, or feel your tummy. Try and relax and tell them if you are feeling worried about anything. 

The doctor or nurse will make a plan about what should happen next. They might want to see you again, might want someone else to see you on a different day, or they might discharge you. Sometimes you might need to have a blood test, or a different test, or be admitted to hospital to become an inpatient. This doesn’t happen very often though, so try not to worry.

If you have any worries or concerns about anything, however big or small, please speak to a member of the team.

Having an operation

Sometimes children need to have an operation to make them better. This is done in hospital.

When you come and see us we will do all we can to make your stay as nice as possible.

You won’t be with us for very long; we will get you back home as quickly as possible.

We have toys,  games, colouring, televisions and play specialists who will tell you all you need to know about going to have your operation so there will be lots to see and do.

When you first arrive: 

  • We will weigh you
  • If you would like, a play specialist will come and visit you. You can see some pictures that show what is going to happen next
  • We will ask you to put on a theatre gown
  • We will put some special cream on your hand with a see-through plaster on top. This is because when you have an operation you have a little tube in your hand for medicine
  • We will ask you to take some paracetamol (Calpol) before you have your operation.

While you wait for your operation you can play with our toys or read a book, but hopefully you won’t have to wait too long.  When it is your turn, the theatre staff will come and collect you on your trolley and your grown up will walk alongside you. When you wake up, your grown up will be beside you and you will come back to the Day Unit on the trolley again.

Once you have woken up from your operation, the doctors and nurses will say when you can go home. 

Visiting the Paediatric Assessment Unit

Sometimes if you're feeling unwell you need to be seen quickly.  

If this happens, you might need to be seen by the children’s doctors and nurses in the Paediatric Assessment Unit, sometimes called the PAU.  

When you come into the unit, you will be seen by a children’s nurse and:

  • You will be weighed by one of the friendly nurses and they will also check your observations  
  • Your temperature is taken by putting a small probe in your ear which beeps- it doesn’t hurt and is very quick  
  • Your heart rate is taken by the nurse holding your wrist and counting your pulse  
  • We might also check your blood oxygen levels by putting a small probe onto your finger which is a bit like a peg.  It doesn’t hurt but just feels a bit funny.  

While you wait to see a doctor, there are always books and toys that you can read and play with. You might even be able to watch the TV or do some craft activities with the play specialist.  If you are well enough, and your nurse says you can go, you might like to visit our play room.

When the doctor sees you, they might listen to your chest with their stethoscope, feel your tummy, put a special torch in your ears, or use a light to look at your throat.  Don’t worry, they don’t hurt, but they do feel a bit uncomfortable.  The doctor might decide that you need to be seen by another doctor, or that you can go home, or that you need to be admitted to the ward to stay overnight.

If you can go home, you might need to take some special medicine home to continue there.  Try and follow any instructions you are given and listen to your adult when they are carrying out the hospital instructions at home.  We know this can be difficult, but it will hopefully get you better quickly.

If you need to come into hospital for the night, don’t worry - our ward is fun! 

If you need to stay overnight

Sometimes you need to stay overnight in hospital. 

Everyone is really friendly and we have lots of things to keep you busy whilst you are with us.  You will have a bed that is either in a bay of two, four or six other children, or if you are infectious to other children you will be given a bed in a single room. 

Your parent or carer can stay with you all of the time and they can either sleep in a reclining chair next to you or on a pull-down bed in a room nearby.

What to bring with you

If you are going to be staying in hospital overnight there are some things you will need to bring with you.

Things to bring with you if you are staying overnight:

  • medications: medicines and other things prescribed to you by a doctor
  • a dressing gown and slippers
  • comfortable clothing – always best to bring a few sets
  • toiletries
  • a book you are reading
  • tablet or laptop if you have one, we have WiFi! You will need to take responsibility for these items
  • school work
  • food and drink if you have special dietary restrictions
  • pyjamas or nightie
  • toothbrush and toothpaste
  • shampoo and soap
  • hairbrush or comb
  • your favourite teddy or toy

We do have lots of toys in hospital. We also have DVD players, play stations and a playroom filled with toys and books. 

A few things to remember when you're going home

Don’t forget to take your medicine! It’s easy to forget when you get home, but it’s really important that you remember to take your medicine at the right time.

What did you think of your hospital visit? Tell us what you think.