Our Open Visiting Policy for parents & legal guardians

You are a parent and not a visitor - you can be with your child as often and for as long as you like.

The only exception to our open visiting policy is during clinical emergencies when the unit will close to parents and visitors to allow the emergency treatment of a child. On these relatively rare occasions you are invited to wait in the waiting area outside the unit or we will contact you as soon as possible when the unit re-opens. If the unit is closed we will endeavour to let you know so you can plan your day appropriately. 

Because Paediatric Critical Care is a busy, highly technical area, we have parent and visitor guidelines for the unit:

Entering the unit

    • Please use the intercom outside the main door so we can let you in. Our staff are likely to be busy caring for the children so bear with us if the door is not always answered immediately.
    • There are relatives waiting rooms at the entrances to the unit which you are welcome to use. There are toilet facilities outside the unit.
    • Let staff know if it is your first time on the unit. A member of the team will help you get acquainted with the new surroundings.
    • We recommend that only two people are at the bedside at any one time although there are occasions when we can make exceptions. A visitor to the unit should ideally therefore be accompanied by a parent.

Infection prevention

    • Infections spread quickly and are more dangerous to children who are very sick. For the protection of all children on the unit, anyone who is unwell or has been in contact with an infectious person is asked to stay away. If you have any concerns speak to one of the team.
    • We ask that you remove outdoor jackets and hang them up on the hangers outside the unit to stop any further spread of infection.
    • Handwashing is extremely important in the hospital and we ask everyone (staff, parents and visitors) to wash their hands or use the alcohol gel provided and at each bedspace – please talk to staff for advice.

Brothers and sisters of patients in the unit:

    • Children under the age of 13 years are not routinely allowed to visit the intensive care unit. In exceptional circumstances this will be reviewed. Please speak to your child’s nurse if you have any questions regarding this. Please remember to supervise your other children while you or they are visiting the unit, and while they are in the waiting area or within the hospital.

Calling through to your child’s nurse

    • Each bed space has a dedicated phone line which you can phone at any time to speak to your child’s nurse to get an update. You will be given the number when you first come to the unit. Please write it down at the front of this leaflet.
    • Occasionally we may have to move your child to a different bed space in the unit. This may have a different direct dial phone number which your child’s nurse will tell you about.

Fire safety

    • If our fire alarms are activated, we ask parents and visitors to follow instructions from staff and the fire safety officers to evacuate the building.
    • Every Monday morning there will be routine testing of the fire alarms, you will not need to wait outside during these tests.

Medicine safety

    • We ask that the nurses and doctors are not interrupted when prescribing or preparing drugs so they can focus on safely undertaking this important task for the children in Paediatric Critical Care. You can identify staff members undertaking such tasks by the purple aprons they will be wearing.