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Paediatric Assessment Unit (PAU)

What is the Paediatric Assessment Unit

A mother and childThe PAU is used to assess acutely unwell children to try to avoid admission to the children’s ward.

Referral to the PAU will be made by your GP if during an appointment with him he feels your child needs more specialised care then he can provide.

What happens first

The PAU is on Rudham ward and your child will be asked to sit in the playroom or be allocated a bed space in the Assessment area where you or an appropriate adult will need to stay with your child at all times.

A member of the Nursing staff will assess your child.

This will include:

Asking you questions about your child’s

  1. Health
  2. General social details
  3. A brief history of why you are attending the PAU

Taking and recording your child’s

  1. Temperature
  2. Pulse
  3. Respirations
  4. Blood Pressure
  5. Oxygen Saturations
  6. Weight


A Doctor will then see you and take a more detailed history and examine your child.

A management plan will be made this may include:

  1. Treatment and home
  2. Further investigations - Home or Admission
  3. Further investigations and referral to another team - Home or Admission
  4. A period of observation - Home or Admission

During ANY of these plans your child will be regularly reviewed by the PAU Nurse and Doctor.

This may take up to 6 hours.

If your child needs admission this will be on Rudham Ward.

Food and Drink

Please ask a member of the Nursing staff before giving your child any thing to eat or drink. Once registered on the PAU if your child is allowed to eat and drink, food and fluids will be provided. This includes Baby milk formula and food/drinks for Breast-feeding Mums.

Car Parking

The Hospital does charge for the car park and vehicles not displaying a ticket will be issued with a fine.

Please make your nurse aware if you have left your vehicle with no ticket.

Women and children in the Paediatric Assessment UnitPlay

Your child will have access to toys and various play activities.

We have 2 Play Specialists, a Play Assistant and several volunteers working on Rudham and PAU who provide distraction and play for the children.


We discourage the use of mobile phones in the PAU but payphones are available for you to use please ask your Nurse.


When your child is discharged home if they need any medicines we will try to provide them from the hospital or it may be that we give you a prescription to take to a Chemist.

Information leaflets if appropriate will also be given to you.

If we need to see you again in PAU a time and date will be given to you before you go home.

If you or your child has any questions or concerns whilst you are here please ask to speak to the Nurse in Charge.