Children's Emergency Department - A Guide for Families
What to expect?
- Welcome to our department
- Once you have booked in with our reception team, the clinical team know you are here
- You will soon be called in to see the triage nurse
- They will ask you some questions and record some observations. This helps us to know how unwell you or your child is and allows us to make sure we always see the sickest patients first. This means that sometimes people who have booked in after you might get seen before you.
- Patients get a triage score from 1 (most sick) to 5. Please ask the triage nurse if you would like to know yours.
- Please do tell the triage nurse if you or your child is in pain – they can give painkillers.
- After triage you will wait to see one of our clinicians who may be a doctor or a practitioner. We will always keep the wait as short as possible, but we can get extremely busy, particularly at weekends and in the evenings and the wait may be longer. We understand that it can be frustrating to wait a long time but please do remember that our staff are working as hard as they can, and we do not tolerate verbal or physical aggression in the Children’s Emergency Department.
What can you do while waiting?
- We advise all families to download the free Healthier Together app via app store or google play. This allows you to look at yours or your child’s symptoms in real time and helps you form an opinion on the best type of care needed. It also contains lots of useful information about health and wellbeing.
- There are also posters around the waiting room with QR codes for various conditions which you may find a useful source of information on how to manage your child’s problem.
What should you do if you are worried while waiting?
- When the waiting time is longer, we aim to carry out repeat observations on the patients before they get seen by the clinician
- If you are worried that you or your child is becoming more unwell in between these please ask a member of staff for help.
What if you think that you or your child do not need to wait to see a clinician?
- If you have used the Healthier Together app or website and now think that your, or your child’s, symptoms are manageable at home and are happy to do so please let us know by telling reception that you are leaving.
- We also know that often people get better by themselves while waiting or after taking medicine given in triage. If you feel that you no longer need to see a clinician, please let a member of staff know.
- We will always try to make sure that you leave with information from the Healthier Together website about your child’s symptoms and the things to watch out for once you have left.
How else can we help you while you are here?
- Right now, life is pretty hard for lots of families up and down the country. Healthier Together have pulled together lots of useful resources on important things like keeping warm, housing, and money. Please look for ‘find local services’ on the Healthier Together website (https://what0-18.nhs.uk/)
How can you give us feedback?
- We try hard to make sure that we provide the best care for our patients and want to know when we have done well but also when we can do better. Please use the posters around the department for links to leave your feedback.