As the largest provider of children’s services in Gloucestershire, we aim to provide all children and young people with safe, effective and reliable care.
You are a valued member of your child’s healthcare team and we encourage you to take part in their care as much as possible while in hospital.
Our specialty services are provided by a team of doctors, specialist nurses, dieticians, orthoptists, optometrist, orthopaedic and physiotherapy practitioners – all of whom specialise in children’s care. Within our team we also have reception staff and play specialists working together to ensure effective running of the clinics providing support for parents, children and young people.
We hope you find everything you need on these pages. If you still have a question for one of our team please contact us:
- Childrens outpatients: 0300 422 8211
- Paediatric Assessment Unit (PAU): 0300 422 8305
- Paediatric Day Unit (PDU): 0300 422 8452
- Children’s inpatients: 0300 422 8310 or 0330 422 8308
How to get here
We have outpatient clinics at both Gloucestershire Royal Hospital’s Children’s Centre and Cheltenham General Hospital in the Battledown Clinic, College Road Wing. Take a look at our Travel & Parking information
The Paediatric Assessment Unit
If your child’s GP has asked you to come to the hospital, or you have brought your child into the Emergency Department (A&E), you might need to be seen by the children’s doctors and nurses in the Paediatric Assessment Unit. This is a separate area of the Children’s Centre that assesses children and teenagers, treating any symptoms.
Within 15 minutes of arriving in the department, we aim to assess your child. This is called triage. We will take a full range of observations, including temperature, pulse, respiration and blood pressure and weigh your child. This will then determine how quickly you will see a doctor. This could be:
- Green – Non-Urgent – seen within four hours from triage
- Amber – Urgent - seen within one hour from triage
- Red – Immediate - seen immediately.
The sickest children and teenagers are seen first. While you are waiting for your child to see the doctor, they will be given any medicine that is initially required and offered food and drink if they are allowed to. There are also toys, games and books that will keep your child amused.
Once the doctor sees you, they might send you home, or ask for the opinion of another doctor. Sometimes, you will be admitted to the ward for an overnight stay in hospital.
If your child is admitted overnight
Our Paediatric Assessment Unit is where children and young people who come to A&E or are referred direct from GP because they need assessment, treatment and/or observation, will be cared for.
When your child is admitted to hospital, you are likely to see and speak to a range of specialists involved in their care. This team may include a surgeon and a therapist depending on your child’s needs. Your child will have a care plan specific to their needs and their time in hospital. One of the team will speak to you about the amount of time we expect your child to stay in hospital and you will see the medical team twice a day to help plan for your child’s discharge.
Each day, your child will have an allocated nurse per shift who will introduce themselves to you. This nurse will also look after other children on the ward. If you have any questions or concerns, please do speak to this nurse or any other nurse on the ward.
We take safety very seriously in the Children’s Centre. Our wards are locked and cannot be accessed without authorisation from staff at the nursing station. Please help us keep our wards secure by not letting in anyone behind you when entering or leaving the ward.
If you are not happy with the levels of care provided or have any questions or comments, please let us know immediately.
What to bring with you
Here is a list of things you and your child should consider bringing in if they're expecting to stay overnight:
- a dressing gown and slippers
- comfortable clothing – always best to bring a few sets
- tablet or laptop if you have one (please be aware you will need to take responsibility for these items)
- school work
- food and drink if you or your child have special dietary restrictions.
Meals and facilities for parents
At the Children's Centre, we have a parent’s room with tea and coffee facilities, a fridge and a microwave for heating up food. We also provide breakfast cereals for parents who have stayed overnight. If you are a breast-feeding mum, please let us know as you will be able to choose lunch and supper options as well.
The parent's room is situated in the middle of the ward and is provided for parents, carers and visitors only; no children are allowed. There is also Foster's Restaurant which serves hot and cold food and a Costa Coffee within the hospital. Please ask a nurse for directions.
Supporting your child and keeping them safe
Children with special needs
Our hospital paediatric teams will liaise and work with all professionals involved in the care of your child to help achieve the best possible health and wellbeing outcomes. See the Children & Families Act 2014
For the infant and pre-school child with a new diagnosis, your health visitor will be involved to start supporting you and understanding and meeting your child's needs. This is an important first step in receiving the best local support.
School age children
Children with long-term health conditions like diabetes, epilepsy, allergy and children with more complex health conditions will need their schools to draw up and implement an individual health care plan.
Children who need funded support for more specialist educational needs (called an EHC Plan) will be advised of this level of need by the Special Educational Needs professional (SENCO or SEN advisor) or other Educational Professionals involved in the care of their child.
Health Advice for the EHC (Education, Health and Care Plan) will come from all the different health professionals involved with your child’s care. We aim to provide an overview summary and to provide advice on aspects of the health condition, defined as more specialist.
A few tips to help you
Hospital visits and stays can be challenging and upsetting for children so it may help to follow these tips:
- stay with your child: we encourage you to spend as much time as possible by your child’s side during hospital stays. If you have to leave, do explain to your child where you are going and for how long you will be gone. If your child does not have anything infectious, they might be nursed in a bay with two, four or six other children. Side rooms are only available for children who are infectious to others. You will be offered either a reclining chair in the bay or a pull-down bed in the side room if you are staying overnight with your child. We can only allow one parent or carer to stay overnight with your child.
- stick to your routine: routines are reassuring for children so it’s good to try and maintain your usual wake-up and bedtime routine as much as possible and bring along a favourite toy.
- take time for yourself: try to take a few minutes each day to give yourself a break. It is important that you give yourself the time and tools to cope with your child’s stay and to support them. There is a hospital shop and Costa Coffee on the floor below as well as Foster's Restaurant. If you need help locating any of these, please just ask.
Gloucestershire Hospital Education Services
Our young patients are supported during their stay in hospital by Gloucestershire County Council's Hospital Education Services. Based in our dedicated School Room in the Children's Centre, children can get support with their school work and continue their learning while receving treatment.
Read more about the Gloucestershire Hospital Education Service (GHES)
Your child's anaesthetic
The Royal College of Anaesthetists
APAGBI (Association of Paediatric Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland)
- Videos for children, Toby has an anaesthetic, Rees bear has an anaesthetic and Davy the detective. These videos can also be read as comics.