Caring for a child with complex medical conditions while in hospital
Parents and carers are welcomed and supported to stay with their children while they are in the hospital. This page will give you information about the hospital stay, the facilities we provide and the Carers Passport.
Coming into hospital
Please bring with you any completed assessment forms that you may have and any other useful information such as the health passport, ‘All about me’ booklet or your child’s advance care plan. This will help staff to understand the specific needs of your child. You may be asked to complete the health passport if you have not already done so.
Please ask if you need help to do this. These documents will be kept at your child’s bedside. Please bring any medication or special feeds that your child or young person may require.
Maintaining privacy and dignity While an inpatient, your child may be nursed in a side room or in a bed located in a bay. Your child’s needs will be taken into account, together with the rest of the children on the ward. Staying with your child or young person Staff on the children’s unit are keen that parents/carers, who wish to, are allowed to remain with their child during the day and night.
However, it is appreciated that this may not always be possible. The key role of any parent or carer is to provide advice for hospital staff on how to communicate and care for their child. This will help to promote familiarity and reduce any fear and/or anxiety that the child may be experiencing.
Care given by parents/carers in hospital will be agreed between the nurse and child or young person (if possible). This will then be recorded in the patient records.
All care should be given in partnership with the ward staff. The nursing team will remain accountable for all care while your child is in hospital. We offer the following facilities for parents/carers staying with their child overnight:
- Parent/carers room where you can make hot drinks and store/warm up food
- Reclining chairs
- Ronald McDonald parent/carers ensuite rooms are available for a small refundable deposit
- Open visiting is in place for the child’s or young person’s main carers/parents. This means, there are no limits to the hours that you can visit.
Specialist facilities on the Unit
Some rooms on the unit have built in hoists, please speak to a member of the nursing staff to enquire if one of these rooms are available for your child or young person’s admission. The unit also has a sensory bathroom with a hoist and changing table available for use. There is one castle bed on the unit. This is a bed with enclosed high sides, to keep your child or young person safe and is available for use by children who may benefit. Please speak to a member of the nursing team to enquire if this bed is available during your child’s or young person’s admission. Due to its size, it is not suitable for all of the bays or side rooms on the unit.
While your child is an in-patient, parents and unpaid carers who remain with the child may be entitled to a Carers Passport. To acknowledge your help and support, the Carers Passport gives you access to the following:
- Drinks while you are on the ward
- Toilet and washing facilities while you are on the ward
- Free car parking, please ask the ward staff for more details
- Being with your child outside of normal visiting hours
Only one Carers Passport will be issued. This will be to the main carer following discussion with the ward staff. You will be given information about access to the ward outside of normal visiting hours.
The Carers Passport allows you to park in the hospital car park free of charge. You will need to present your passport at parking shop. The parking staff will issue you with a parking exemption ticket.
Saba Car Parking Shops
Cheltenham General HospitalSandford Road.
Daily, 8:00am to 5.00pm
Multi-Storey Car Park
Gloucestershire Royal Hospital
Monday to Friday 9:00am to 8:30pm,
Saturday, 9:00am to 12:30pm, closed on Sundays
Children with special needs
The Children’s Centre has link nurses or link workers who have an interest in learning disabilities. They advise their colleagues on nursing care for patients with learning disabilities and can also be a point of contact for you. If you would like to talk to them, please ask the nurse looking after your child. There are Learning Disability Liaison Nurses and a Paediatric Neurodisabilty Nurse Specialist working at both Gloucestershire Royal and Cheltenham General Hospitals.
All are experts in the care of patients with learning disabilities and are available to help with your child’s preparation for coming into the hospital.
If you need help and support please contact:
Learning Disability Liaison Nurses Tel: 0300 422 4953 or 0300 422 4985 Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm
Paediatric Neurodisability Nurse Specialist Tel: 0300 422 5792 Monday to Friday, 8:00am to 4:00pm
Tel: 0300 422 8310 or 0330 422 8308
If you have any concerns while your child is in the hospital, please speak to a member of the nursing team. If you would prefer to talk to someone not connected with the unit then please contact the Patient Advice Liaison Service (PALS) using the details below.
Freephone: 0800 019 3282
Telephone: 0300 422 6831
Fax: 0300 422 6832