Coming to TAU

doctor and patient in TAU

This page explains what you need to do when coming to the Theatre Admissions Unit and answers some common questions.

Further information about anaesthetics, including last eating and drinking times, is available on the Anaesthesia page.

If you have any further concerns or queries, please call TAU on 0114 271 7343 / 0114 271 7393.

Preparing for your visit

  • Your appointment letter details the time and date you’ll need to come to hospital.
  • If you can’t attend, please let us know by telephoning the number on your appointment letter. We can then rearrange your appointment and your original date can be given to someone else.
  • If you need an interpreter we can arrange this for you – just call the number on your appointment letter.
  • 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 Lisa on 0114 271 7343 / 0114 271 7393 for further information or to arrange a visit.
  • The photo guide Having an operation at Sheffield Children’s Hospital (PDF) was produced by our Play Specialists and should be useful for patients, parents and carers coming to our surgical inpatient wards.
  • Read our advice on how to prepare your child for their anaesthetic.

What to bring

  • Your appointment letter
  • Any medication your child takes
  • Personal Child Health Record
  • ‘Born in Sheffield’ book
  • Books, comics or toys – your child’s favourite toy/comforter is important
  • Please try not to bring valuables. The Trust cannot accept any liability for loss or damage of valuables.

On the day

  • You can find TAU in the Green Wing. Follow the corridor past Theatre Reception and use the lift or stairs to access D Floor. Look out for the orange squares on the corridor walls.
  • Admission times are usually 7.30am for morning lists and between 11am and 12 noon for afternoon lists. It is important to arrive on time. Theatre lists generally commence at 9am and 1.30pm although a few morning lists start at 8.30am.
  • For most operations and procedures it is important that children do not eat or have certain drinks for several hours beforehand. We have standard times at which children may have their last food and drink as we may not be able to determine the order of the operating list until the day. Eating or drinking too late is the most common reason for operations being cancelled so it is important that you stick to the following rules:

Infants up to 12 months of age

  Solid food
(if weaned)
Formula feed Breast milk Clear fluids
Morning list
7.30am admission
Fast from 2.30am Please feed at 5am then fast until theatre Please feed at 6am then fast until theatre Encourage drinks until arrival at the Theatre Admissions Unit
Afternoon list
11am-12noon admission
Fast from 7.30am Please feed at 9.30am then fast until theatre Please feed at 10.30am then fast until theatre Encourage drinks until arrival at the Theatre Admissions Unit

Older children (over 12 months)

  Food, milk, formula, sweets, fizzy drinks Breast milk Clear fluids
Morning list
7.30am admission
Fast from 2.30am Please feed at 6am then fast until theatre Encourage drinks until arrival at the Theatre Admissions Unit
Afternoon list
11am-12noon admission
Fast from 7.30am Please feed at 10.30am then fast until theatre Encourage drinks until arrival at the Theatre Admissions Unit

  • Please bring your child’s water bottle or sippy cup with you for use on the ward.
  • One or two parents/carers can come to the appointment. Unfortunately we can’t accommodate any siblings other than breastfeeding babies.
  • Allow plenty of time to get here and remember that parking is very limited. Public transport is the best way to travel to the hospital.
  • Once you get here you will usually be given an approximate waiting time but please bear in mind that this can change if an emergency operation is taking place or if an earlier case takes longer than expected.
  • Depending on the procedure you may be with us for between four and eight hours. We need everyone on an operating list to arrive at the same time so that the surgeon and anaesthetist can assess every child before the list starts.

Consent

  • A doctor who is part of the team looking after your child will explain the procedure to you.
  • You can ask any questions and will be asked to sign to say that you understand and consent to what is going to happen.
  • Consent can only be given by a parent or guardian. Unfortunately other relatives cannot give consent.
  • If your child is old enough to understand what is happening then they can sign next to your signature.

After the procedure

  • Your child will recover from their anaesthetic in the theatres area before being brought back to TAU for second stage recovery and discharge. (Patients who require inpatient care will go straight to a ward).
  • We will give you written advice on follow up appointments, wound care and medication.
  • Very occasionally, children take longer to recover or doctors wish to observe them overnight. If this happens we will arrange for you and your child to transfer to an overnight ward. You can choose to stay by your child’s bedside if this happens.
  • If any problems occur once you are at home, please contact your GP or take your child to the nearest Accident & Emergency Department.

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