We know that it's not always easy staying in hospital when most of the patients are young children. We have facilities especially for our teenage patients and do our best to meet your needs while you're with us.

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 recovering well, or your GP might have asked for you to be seen by a specialist team at the hospital.

You will need to report into reception and then you will be weighed by one of the friendly nurses or health care assistants on duty.  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 use a special machine to take your blood pressure and use a cuff, which is a bit like an arm band, which we place on the top of your arm - it squeezes a bit and then slowly goes down.  These observations will be taken quickly if you try and relax and sit as still as possible.

Our Outpatient Departments can be busy and sometimes quite noisy.  You might want to bring a book along, listen to some music or read a magazine.  

After your name is called out, you will see the doctor or nurse.  They will ask you some questions about how you are feeling and any signs or symptoms that you might have.  If you want to talk to them without your adult being with you, then let them know. 

The doctor or nurse will make a plan about what should happen next. They might want to see you again or for someone else to see you on a different day, or they might discharge you.  Sometimes you might need to have a blood 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.

If you're admitted to the Paediatric Assessment Unit (PAU)

Sometimes if you're feeling unwell you need to be seen quickly.  Your GP might have asked you to come to the hospital, or you might have been brought into the Emergency Department (A&E).  If this happens, you might need to be seen by the children’s doctors and nurses in the Paediatric Assessment Unit.  This is a special area of the Children’s Centre that assesses children and teenagers and tries to work out if you need any treatment.

When you come into the unit, you will be seen by a children’s nurse within 15 minutes.  They will also weigh you by and they will check your observations, this is called 'triage'.   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 use a special machine to take your blood pressure and use a cuff a bit like an arm band which we place on the top of your arm- it squeezes a bit and then slowly goes down.  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.  Try and relax and all these observations will be taken quickly.  The nurse will then decide how quickly you need to be seen by the doctor.  This could be:

  • Green – Non-Urgent – seen within 4 hour from triage
  • Amber – Urgent - seen within 1 hour from triage
  • Red – Immediate -  seen immediately

The sickest children and teenagers are seen first.  Whilst you are waiting to see the doctor, sometimes you might need some medicine to help you, or the nurse might need to so some investigations such as collect a urine sample.  Don’t worry- the nurse or health care assistant will show you what to do and you can always ask for help if you need it.  Sometimes, it can be a wait to see the doctor, so you might want the play team to visit you and offer you some ideas to keep you busy whilst you are waiting, for example craft activities or listening to music. 

When the doctor sees you, they might listen to your chest with their stethoscope, feel your stomach, use an opthalmoscope 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.  Try and sit as still as possible and they will be over more quickly.  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.  

If you need to come into hospital for the night, don’t worry - our ward is fun!  Your adult can stay right by you all night so you don’t have to be on your own if you don’t want to be.  If your adult can’t stay with you, there are always lots of friendly nurses and healthcare assistants that stay awake all night to make sure that you are safe and well whilst you spend the night in hospital.

If you're staying overnight

If you need to stay in hospital overnight, we will do everything we can to make your stay as comfortable as possible. 

We have an adolescent room which is just for young people and the play specialists/assistants will provide you with iPads or art and craft to keep you occupied.  Your parent or carer can stay with you should you wish them to. 

We try and keep older children together if you are nursed in the bay, as we understand that you have different needs to our younger patients.

What to bring with you

If you are going to stay in hospital overnight, there are some things you will need to bring with you:

  • clean clothes
  • pyjamas or nightie
  • slippers
  • toothbrush and toothpaste
  • shampoo and soap
  • hairbrush or comb
  • anything else you might want to keep you busy
  • medications (things prescribed to you by a doctor)
  • a book you are reading
  • tablet or laptop if you have one (you will need to take responsibility for these items) We have Wi-Fi 
  • school work
  • food and drink if you have special dietary restrictions.

We also have a room especially for teenagers with a pool table, TV and other games.

When you leave

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

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