Sheffield Childrens NHS Foundation Trust

Did you know

We treated nearly 200,000 patients in 2014/15.

Inside the Theatre Admissions Unit

Theatre Admissions Unit

Welcome to our Theatre Admissions Unit (TAU) where children having surgery or a procedure that requires a general anaesthetic are admitted.

We also hold orthopaedic pre-admission clinics and bladder scanning here.

We generally see patients between three months and 16 years old.

Nearly all children who go to theatre come to TAU before their operation. Patients who need an inpatient bed will go straight to a ward after theatre. Day cases return to TAU to recover before discharge home.

Find out more about preparing for a visit to TAU.
Download: Welcome to Theatre Admissions Unit poster (PDF)

If your child is coming in for a quick medical procedure or an infusion, this normally takes place in the Research and Medical Treatment Lounge.

Virtual tours

Take a look around the Theatre Admissions Unit to learn more about our facilities and find out what to expect when you visit each area:

TAU reception

Step 1 - Visit the reception area                     

TAU waiting area

Step 2 - Visit the waiting area

TAU play area

Step 3 - Visit the play area

TAU recovery

Step 4 - Visit the recovery area


Visitor information

We ask that children coming to TAU are accompanied by a maximum of two adults only. Unfortunately we cannot accommodate any other children unless they are breastfed babies due to limited space and the need to prevent infections being brought in from outside the hospital. If this causes any problems please call TAU on 0114 271 7343 / 0114 271 7393.

We also ask that you do not eat or drink in the waiting area as children are starved for theatre and this would be unfair to them. A parent/visitor room with a free drinks machine is situated next to the Theatre Admissions Unit. Thank you for your co-operation on this matter.

Please try not to bring valuables with you. The Trust cannot accept any liability for loss or damage of valuables.

Planning your visit

Reducing anxiety

Visiting hospital can be a daunting experience for adults and children alike. We want to reduce any anxieties and help make your visit as stress free as possible.

Many people worry about how to prepare their child for a general anaesthetic and an operation. There are some useful ideas in our anaesthetic area.

Our full time Play Specialist can help distract children by providing activities, toys and games.

We also have a home-from-home room designed to help children and young people relax. This has a sofa, television, DVD player and other activities and is ideal for patients who have a specific need for a quiet space.

WIDGIT symbols

For children with additional needs we have a symbol communication scheme (WIDGIT) which can help plan your child’s journey through TAU. This gives them some control and helps to reduce any stress they may be feeling.

My Daycase Operation is a leaflet illustrated with WIDGIT symbols explaining the steps in the journey from arrival at Theatre Admissions Unit to going home again. Flashcards are also included to allow a timeline to be created for individual children.

If you feel this approach would be useful for your child, please contact the TAU play specialist on 0114 271 7343 / 0114 271 7393, who will be able to help you prepare your child before coming to hospital and on the day of surgery.

Pre-admission visits

If your child is particularly anxious about coming to hospital, it may be possible to arrange a pre-admission visit to help familiarise them with TAU. Please contact our Play Specialist on 0114 271 7343 / 0114 271 7393 for further information or to arrange a visit.

Photo guides

Our Play Specialists have created a photo guide which explains what happens when a patient comes to hospital for an operation.

Download: Having an operation at Sheffield Children's Hospital (PDF)

We've also created a 'journey board' which uses WIDGIT symbols and photos to explain what happens when a patient comes to TAU. Look out for the board on the wall in TAU reception.


Having an operation (with Makaton narration)

Chris uses Makaton and Widgit symbols to show us what happens when Rory come to Sheffield Children's Hospital for an operation.


Something Special

The BBC filmed an episode of 'Something Special' here at Sheffield Children's Hospital in 2010. The episode shows Justin following the story of a little boy called Ciaran as he comes to TAU, meets some doctors and nurses, has an anaesthetic for an ear operation and enjoys his toast before going home. Mr Tumble also has some adventures around the hospital as he searches for Grandad Tumble, who has been staying on one of the wards. The entire programme is augmented with signing in Makaton.

You can watch the episode for £1.89 on YouTube or it appears on the DVD compilation 'Something Special - Hello Mr Tumble', currently on sale in the BBC Shop for £4.75.

Opening times

Our standard opening times are 7.30am - 8pm Monday to Friday but we do have some theatre lists at weekends.

We're all very nice...

Meet the team...

Meet the Theatre Admissions Unit team

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