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Preparing for a ward stay

hospital ward

The inpatient wards are for patients who come into hospital and will have to stay for at least one night.

Your child may have been admitted urgently or arrangements may have been made to admit them for a planned stay.

The hospital has several inpatient wards and a range of facilities for visitors.

Arriving on the ward

What happens when we arrive at the ward?

You will be met by a nurse who may take a brief history and carry out some observations on your child, such as weight, temperature, pulse etc.

A doctor will meet with you to examine your child, discuss any treatment and ask a few more questions.

You may be asked to sign a consent form to show that you understand what is going to happen.

Your nurse will put a wristband on your child, it is important that it stays on whilst your child is in hospital. Please let a nurse know if it comes off.

What should I bring?
  • appointment letter
  • medications
  • nappies
  • Personal Child Health Record (for local children)
  • ‘Born in Sheffield’ books
  • books/comics
  • toys
  • school work

If you have a planned hospital visit, please remember to bring any nappies your child may need. We have a small supply of nappies available for children admitted in an emergency, but parents will need to provide their own if their child has to stay at the hospital for a longer period.

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

Can parents stay overnight?

Parents are encouraged to stay overnight with their child. All wards have a fold-away beds so that a parent can sleep overnight next to their child. This may be a sofa bed, pull down bed or camp bed depending on which ward you are staying on.

The hospital also has a facility called Treetop House run by The Sick Children’s Trust which has 13 rooms for parents. It includes a kitchen, lounge and laundry facilities away from the wards. Unfortunately parent rooms cannot be booked in advance but ward staff can make enquiries for you on admission.

PACT House is situated a short walk from the hospital and provides a home from home for families using Ward M3.

Will it be noisy at night on the ward?

We try to quieten the wards down each evening but caring for patients goes on at all times of the day and night.

Staff do try to be as quiet as they can. You can help with this by asking your visitors to leave and turning mobile phones off after 9pm.

Will my child have a single room?

Our new wards which opened in April 2018 have 42 en suite rooms. The older wards have a handful of single rooms or cubicles and these are usually used by patients at risk from infection or suffering from an infection.

Some patients will be nursed in a bay of four to seven patients within an individual ward.

Bays will sometimes have boys and girls together. If you would prefer your child not to be in a mixed bay, please discuss this with the nurse in charge – we will try to assist, if at all possible.

Keeping busy on the ward

Toys and games

We want to make sure that patients are kept occupied and entertained and that their hospital stay is as pleasant as possible. Facilities include:

  • play rooms full of toys, books and games for younger children
  • adolescent rooms with video games, TVs and comfy chairs
  • a television by each bed

All the wards have play specialists who organise activities to help patients have fun while they are here. They are also available to distract patients during procedures that take place on the wards like taking blood or fitting a cannula.

Patients may wish to bring their own small toys, books, comics or homework to occupy their time.

If you plan to bring electronic games please ask the play specialist to ensure the equipment is tested before you plug anything into the wall.

Please note the Trust cannot accept any liability for any loss or damage of valuables.

School work

If your child is expected to stay in for a couple of days or more one of our teachers will see your child and set work appropriate to their needs.



Write down any questions and keep them with you to discuss with the doctor or your nurse.

Your child will be seen once a day by your consultant’s team and will be reviewed as necessary by other doctors.

Our patient advice & liaison service (PALS) is also there to support you should you need additional help.

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