The paediatric A&E unit at St Peters hospital is the largest in Surrey It sees over 25,000 children every single year.
It is open 24 hours a day 365 days a year. The department sees children from the age of newborn to their 18th birthday.
The department is staffed completely by childrens trained nurses and at least one member of the team at any one time has an advanced childrens resuscitation qualification. Every year the department sees children attending with a wide range of illnesses and injuries.
These range from the very minor to the acutely life threatening. The department works in close partnership with specialties throughout the hospital in order to ensure that the children we see get the most appropriate care required. Rarely this will involve liaising with specialist teams in other nearby hospital to ensure that each child receives optimum care.
Whilst the department will see any child who attends it must be kept in mind the departments main function is to serve those children with life and limb threatening injuries and illness. We operate a robust, nationally recognised system of nurse led initial assessment on arrival and this determines where the child is placed in the queue to see a doctor.
Medical priority is the overriding principle of this system with those children with more serious illness and injuries understandably being seen quickest.
Children are however regularly checked whilst waiting in the queue as their conditions can change rapidly. Those children who have not been given pain relief at home are offered this on arrival; we would always encourage parents to give pain relief prior to arrival in hospital, no matter what the condition, as this is shown to speed up accurate assessment. If appropriate an x-ray may be ordered by the nurse on arrival.
The initial examination is likely to be from an A&E or paediatric doctor. In some cases, particularly in the case of children referred from their GP or walk in centre the child may be assessed by a doctor from another specialty.
Following assessment by a doctor, the child in question will either be discharged home, referred to a specialty or admitted to the hospitals inpatient paediatric ward. Around 90% of the children we see are discharged home.
If the child requires admission these arrangements will be made and the child taken in a timely manner. If the child is to be discharged they will be given prescription medication and discharged either with advice or possibly with additional follow up from either their GP or specialist team.
We understand that having an unwell or injured child can be a very stressful time for parents and relatives and we will always do our best to keep you informed of your childs progress through their A&E journey.
It of course goes without saying that physically or verbally aggressive behaviour will not be tolerated and prosecution may follow.
There is an out of hours GP service available 24 hours a day for minor illnesses such as coughs and colds (0208 390991). The Walk-in centres in Weybridge, Woking and Ashford can also treat minor illnesses and injuries.
If you do have any problems, worries or queries whilst you are in the Department please ask any member of the clinical team.
Hospital switchboard number 01932 872000.