Child Assessment Unit (CAU) or Ward 18
The Children's Assessment Unit (CAU) is open Monday to Friday from 9am until 10pm.
Monday to Thursday a variety of investigations and procedures are performed in the unit, alongside all the acute admissions from GPs, the Emergency Department and other modes of referrals come directly onto the Assessment Unit. Friday the unit is open for acutes (emergencies) only - we do not perform routine tests.
If your child requires an investigation you will receive a letter in the post with the date and time to come to the Assessment Unit. On arrival you will be met by a member of the team, and shown into a waiting area. If the investigation requires any blood test, an anaesthetic cream will be placed on the back of your child’s hands, and this cream will need to be on for one hour, in order for the numbing process to take place, so please be prepared to wait.
If your child is admitted as an acute from your GP or the Emergency Department upon your arrival you will be shown to a bed space. A nurse will come and assess your child, perform observations, and ask you some questions.
You will then be assessed by a Doctor who will take a history and come up with a plan. Your child will be observed for a few hours to decide if they need admission to the Children’s Ward or if you will be able to take them home. Therefore the process is not like a GP appointment, where you are seen and sent home, there will be a period of assessment and observation.
We also have a few clinics that are held on the Assessment Unit, and certain food challenges. In these instances, you will be seen by a specialist children’s nurse who will run the challenge, or clinic. We have an MRI list where children require a General Anaesthetic, and if your child requires an MRI under anaesthetic you will be contacted by post, and again come along to the Assessment unit, where you will be seen by the Anaesthetist, and escorted down to MRI by a member of staff with your child.
We aim to keep appointment times as much as we can, but as we are also an acute service, sometimes there may be a wait, but we will keep you informed if this is the case. If we do keep you longer than anticipated, we can help with the price of parking as well.
Our aim is to provide high quality care for you, your child and family. There is a well equipped playroom, play specialists and a kitchen where parents can make themselves a drink. No one wants to come to hospital, but we will do what we can to make your visit as pleasant as possible.
If you have any questions or concerns please ask to speak to Sister Jane Ratcliffe.