We are part of the Children’s Services provided by Queen Elizabeth Hospital NHS Trust. The Ward is at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn.
Rudham Ward is a 23-bedded, acute general paediatric ward plus 5 Assessment beds. We cater for children from the ages of 0 to 16.
We have a main ward area plus eight side rooms for very young babies or children suffering from infectious illnesses, we also have ten beds in our area designated for adolescents. We also have a 5 bedded Paediatric Assessment Unit which takes referrals from GP’s and Accident & Emergency Department (see Paediatric Assessment info).
We have a high dependency area, which can care for a maximum of two patients. We have good links with the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge, who have a retrieval team for collecting intensive care patients.
Several senior doctors (Consultants) admit children to our ward for treatment of medical, surgical, orthopaedic (bones), ophthalmology (eyes), ENT (ear, nose & throat) and dental conditions.
We are ‘on take’ for emergency admissions from the Accident & Emergency Department (Casualty) and GPs 24-hours a day, seven days per week. We also take planned admissions daily for investigations and operations.
Most children who need planned surgical procedures are admitted to the Day Surgery Unit (on the Queen Elizabeth Hospital site), have their operation and go home the same day. However other operations require an overnight stay in hospital or are done are an emergency and these children come to Rudham Ward. Length of stay is kept to a minimum to reduce anxiety and disruption for the child and family.
About the staff
Nursing staff are mainly children’s trained nurses and there are a minimum of two Registered Sick Children’s Nurses or Registered Nurses (Child) on duty at all times. Play Specialists and Health Care Assistance support the trained staff. All staff receive annual appraisals and are encouraged to attend team briefings and clinical supervision. We support and supervise student nurses on their training courses.
How can I prepare my child?
It is quite normal to be anxious about your child coming into hospital and worry about how you and they will cope with the experience.
Firstly, where possible, be prepared yourself. Ensure you are aware of what your child’s care involves. It is important that you are honest and tell your child clearly what will happen. Tell your child that you can visit and when, or if you are able, that you will stay with them.
You can arrange a visit to the ward before admission and one of the hospital Play Specialists will show you around and familiarise your child with some of the equipment they are likely to encounter.
- Look at books about hospitals together
- Talk positively about the hospital stay
- Always be honest; never keep the admission a secret
What to bring - packing for your child
- Day and night clothes for the stay
- Toothbrush, toothpaste and any other toiletries your child uses
- Your child’s special toy, even if it is suffering from an overdose of love!
- If your child uses a dummy or bottle, please bring these too
- Any medication your child is currently using
- If aged under five years, your "Child Development Book" (Red Book). Contact your GP or Health Visitor if you cannot find it
- Nappies and formula feed/baby milk
What to bring - packing for you
- Only essential items as there is limited storage space on the ward
- Cool clothes as the ward is quite warm
- Plenty to do as time may appear to pass slowly
When you get to Rudham ward
The safety of children is of paramount importance to all of us so we have a security system in place. This entails speaking into an intercom located at the ward doors and you will be asked to state who you are and who you are visiting before you enter. In order to leave the ward you will need to ask at the desk for the doors to be released. Please ensure you do not allow anyone to enter the ward whilst coming through the door.
All parents and visitors should use hand gel/liquid on entering and leaving the ward to prevent the spread of infection.
Research has clearly shown that children not only cope far better with hospital admission, but also recover more quickly and have less long-term worries, if care is delivered in partnership with the family.
We therefore work in partnership with you and your child and aim to fully involve you and, where appropriate, your child in all aspects of care planning and delivery, negotiating what input and support you wish to have.
When you arrive, a nurse will show you around the ward. They will complete some forms and once you have settled in, a nurse will check height, weight, temperature, pulse and maybe your child’s blood pressure. She will try and make sure your child is as comfortable as possible. Favourite food, bedtime routines, favourite games and any special needs will be discussed.
Your child will be fitted with an identification bracelet on arrival to wear through out his/her stay.
A doctor will then carry out a physical examination of your child, talk to you about their treatment and answer any questions you may have. If your child needs tests like x-rays and blood tests, the ward staff will direct you to where these take place or accompany your child to them.
Children and consent
If your child needs an operation and is under the age of 16, your child’s doctor will ask you to sign a consent form. If your child is old enough to understand, we will ask for their views and permission before any procedure is undertaken. An anaesthetist will also talk to you and your child if they need to have a general anaesthetic.
If your child has to have an operation or painful or frightening procedure performed, then the Hospital Play Specialist can help to prepare them for this by explaining what is going to happen. They can do this with the help of photographs and by showing them pieces of medical equipment that they may encounter. They do not go into details about the actual operation or procedure.
We operate a relaxed policy when it comes to visiting. Parents/carers may visit their child whenever they wish, other visitors 1.30pm to 8pm.
In order to consider children who may need rest and quiet to assist their recovery, we ask you to limit your child’s visitors to 2 per bedside (not including parents/carers).
There are occasions when this may need to be altered. For example:
- In circumstances where a child is very poorly and needs to be quiet, or if a child is in isolation. Nursing staff will advise you.
- Siblings can visit but are the responsibility of their parents at all times and must therefore be supervised. Remember the ward is not an ideal place for young babies due to the risk of infection.
- Parents/carers only on day of operation please.
If you experience any problems with the above please speak to the nurse in charge.
We ask that all visitors leave by 8pm so we can try and make the ward a quieter place in the evenings allowing younger children to get to sleep.
If there is anyone in particular that you do not want to visit your child please discuss this with your nurse on admission.
We actively encourage one parent to stay with the child overnight and a foldaway bed will be provided for you by your child’s bedside. Due to fire regulations only one parent/carer may stay overnight. If your child is being nursed in the adolescent area, we are only able to offer a bedside chair due to limited space. However, it may be possible to move your child onto the main ward for this purpose.
We strongly encourage mothers to continue to use breast milk for their sick babies and support the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative. You will probably be in a side room with your baby which will provide you with privacy and dignity but if not then a private area can be found if necessary. If you need any help or advice please regarding breastfeeding please ask.
We provide a special children’s menu, with the emphasis on healthy eating and healthy choices, in addition to the main menu from the Catering Department. If your child needs a special diet for a medical condition or has any allergies please make sure that your nurse is aware of this and can order a special meal for you.
We do ask that only one family member is on the ward during meal times to enable the children to have an uninterrupted period of time in which to eat their meal.
There is a parents’ room on the ward, which is for adults only. In here you will find a drinks machine so that you can get a hot drink at all times. The cartridges for this machine can be purchased at the nurses’ desk.
In the interests of safety, we insist that hot drinks are not taken outside this room and no children be allowed in.
There is also a microwave and fridge for your use. Please name and date everything put inside the fridge. It is your responsibility to keep this room clean and tidy.
- Meals are available to order from the canteen, these will be delivered to the ward at meal times so you do not have to leave your child.
- Resident mothers of babies being exclusively breast- fed (up to 6 months of age) are entitled to order food from the adult menu.
- We have a parent’s bathroom situated just outside the ward doors but you will need to provide your own toiletries.
- The Trust operates a no smoking policy for patients, staff and visitors throughout the site – NO SMOKING is permitted on Trust property – either within the hospital or in the grounds.
Play and entertainment
There are two Hospital Play specialists and a Play Assistant on the ward. They are available to provide play and activities for your child during their stay on the ward. They can offer help and advice on suitable play activities and may use play as a distraction when your child is having certain treatments.
There are play and various other activities available to meet the needs of children of all ages. The Play area is situated at the far end of the ward opposite the parents’ room. The area is open throughout the day, except at meal times and is run by Our Play Assistant. Inpatients can be supervised by our Hospital Play Assistant or a volunteer. Please ask if you need their help. Siblings should be supervised by their parents but they are welcome to join in with the activities.
We also have a good selection of Videos, DVD’s, and Play stations and electronic games consoles, which will help your child to stay occupied and play happily.
Multi sensory trolley
We have an excellent Multi-sensory Trolley for children who have special needs or just need to relax. This trolley includes fibre optics, bubble tubes and projection images, as well as soothing music if required.
If your school-aged child is a ‘regular’ patient or is admitted for 7 days or over, there is a legal requirement that he/she resumes school work either by his/her bed or in a side room once he/she is well enough.
If your child is going to be off school for a long time when discharged home, a referral will be made for the teacher to visit
Discharge and follow-up support
Medical and nursing staff will explain the follow up care for your child. We have written advice sheets for you to take home and you may also be given a discharge letter to give to your child’s GP. If your child needs any medication, these will be ordered and sent from the Pharmacy Department, but can take some time. An appointment may be made for your child to return to the ward for a clinic appointment or you may need to return to the Outpatient Clinic to see your child’s Consultant or Registrar. This appointment will be given to you or sent by post.
How you can help us
Rudham Ward routinely surveys parents and children on in order to improve the service. Suggestion Boxes are available on the ward and the staff are always willing to listen to views and ideas from parents and children.
Paediatric Intensive Care Unit - Addenbrookes Hospital
The Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Addenbrooke's is an eight-bed ward caring for sick children who need very close observation from doctors, nurses and other members of the PICU team.
UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative
The Baby Friendly Initiative is a global programme of UNICEF and the World Health Organisation which works with the health services to improve practice so that parents are enabled and supported to make informed choices about how they feed and care for their babies.
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