Your Child’s Admission

Download our ‘Coming to the Hospital’ PDF guide here

Your child’s admission date

You will have received a letter with your child’s admission date and details about where to go when you arrive at the hospital.

If the admission date is not convenient, please call the number on the letter immediately to arrange an alternative date. You can also use the same number to let us know if you or your child has any special needs, such as an interpreter or signer.

Before your child is admitted

It can be helpful to prepare your child for their admission, perhaps by packing their hospital bag, reading books together, playing hospital games or drawing pictures. It is good to communicate clearly and simply with your child about their hospital visit.

For more information, you may wish to contact the hospital play team via the switchboard on 01273 696 955.

Action for Sick Children (020 7843 6444, is a charity which can provide information for parents and children about coming into hospital.

What to Bring

Please only bring items that you can store in a small bedside cupboard. Please bring:

  • Your child’s admission letter, and any other information we have sent you
  • The name, address, postcode and phone number of your child’s GP
  • Your child’s health record (red book)
  • A small amount of spending money to use in the hospital shop or for phone calls
  • Proof of entitlement to benefits, if you would like to be reimbursed for travel costs
  • All medicines or inhalers that your child is taking or using
  • Day and night clothes
  • A toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, towel and face cloth
  • Nappies, if your child is wearing them
  • A book and special toy (please label the toy with your child’s name)
  • Any mobility aids, such as crutches
  • Glasses or hearing aids, if your child has them
  • Items of religious importance to you and your child

Please do not bring valuables, large sums of money or items such as MP3 players or Game Boys. Your child’s bedside cupboard does not have a lock and we cannot accept liability for lost or stolen property or money.

Preparing to come to hospital

If your child has been exposed to an infection such as chicken pox or has developed a cough, cold, diarrhoea or vomiting in the three days before their admission, then please let us know.

If your child is having a test or operation, please follow any instructions in the admission letter about when they need to stop eating or drinking. Failure to do this might result in a delay or cancellation of your child’s test or operation.

Please telephone your child’s ward the night before admission to confirm that a bed is available. Very occasionally priority may be given to an emergency case and your child’s admission may have to be postponed.

At the hospital

Your child’s admission letter will provide details of where to go and our receptionists will be happy to direct you. The Alex is themed as a giant ark and each level has its own animals.

When you arrive at the ward please press the buzzer outside the door and use the hygienic gel dispenser to clean your hands before entering. You will be welcomed by a ward clerk or nurse. If you have brought any medicines for your child with you, please give these to the nurse.

Your child will be seen by a member of the medical team and their condition will be continuously monitored.


Your child will be served breakfast between 8 and 9am, lunch between 12 and 1pm and dinner between 5 and 6pm. You can come and feed your child but we ask that you restrict visitors during mealtimes. Your child can choose from a variety of meal options but do tell the ward housekeeper or nurse if your child has special dietary needs. Drinks are also served during the day and with meals.

There are also a number of shops and cafes throughout the RSCH site serving snacks and meals. Please click here for more information.

Your child’s safety

Your child’s safety is important to us. We have a 24-hour security staff and a comprehensive security system. Please tell your child’s nurse if you are taking your child away from the ward and supervise your other children when they are visiting.

Doctors and nurse will explain any treatment and why they think it is appropriate for your child, before it is carried out. They will also answer your questions. If your child is under 16 you will be asked to sign a consent form for the treatment to happen.


We welcome visitors and the involvement of carers. You can visit anytime but other visitors will be asked to come between 9am and 8pm to ensure your child gets enough rest. Special arrangements can be made with the ward staff for people who need to visit outside these hours.

Staff may sometimes ask for the number of visitors to be restricted if they feel this will help your child’s recovery. Siblings and other children need to be supervised by their parents.

Going home

Your doctor and nurse will help you plan for your child’s discharge from hospital, They may ask about your home situation and what support you might need. If necessary, the pharmacist will give you a supply of medicines and information on using them.

When you leave the hospital, do make sure you have the contact details of who to call if you have concerns, also that you are aware of any symptoms to watch out for. Do check when you might need to return for an Outpatients appointment and, if relevant, what community support services are available to support you.