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The Alex information for parents of babies transferring from the TMBU

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Introduction


This booklet has been written to help with the transition to the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital. It will hopefully help you to adjust to your new surroundings, new staff and a new lifestyle for yourselves.

This booklet contains information about the Children’s hospital wards. Some of our babies need continuing hospital care as they get older and so this booklet will help you to familiarise yourself with each ward before your baby is transferred for their ongoing care:-

  • Critical Care Unit Extension 2550.
  • Level 8 Surgical Extension 2552.
  • Level 9 Medical Extension 2416.
  • Ronald McDonald House, Level 10.

What could help to make our move to the Alex easier?


A member of the team will come over to the unit, near the time of transfer, to meet you and your baby. They will be able to answer any questions you may still have.

Please visit the hospital, shop, WRVS café and visit the ward your baby will eventually be transferred to. You will meet the nurses on the ward and be able to familiarise yourself with the ward layout.

Please take a copy of the Alex inpatient information booklet from the leaflet rack to read further general information about the Alex.


Critical Care Unit


On transfer to Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital, your baby will spend a minimum of 24 hours on the Critical Care Unit. This is to allow the nurses and doctors to get to know your baby and for you to adjust to a different way of nursing in a more cubicle style of ward layout.

You will usually have a cubicle, which has a parent bed beside the cot, but if your baby is going to have an extended stay in the hospital and is non infectious then the four bedded bay maybe used.

If your baby is in the four bedded bay you can not be resident on the ward in Critical Care unit, however Ronald McDonald rooms on Level 10 are available for your stay. If you are resident in Ronald McDonald House, Glencourt arrangements will be made to move you to Level 10, Ronald McDonald rooms.


Surgical Ward Level 8


We acknowledge that any stay in hospital can be difficult for families and carers. Our hope is that we can minimise the adverse effects of a hospital stay by providing care in a positive environment, thereby improving the hospital experience.

The Surgical Ward is situated on the 8th floor of the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital. The main entrance to the ward is via the lifts and stairwell found in the main atrium of the hospital.

Who will be looking after my baby?

During your stay you will see a lot of the health care professionals that work in the children’s hospital team, they should all be wearing hospital name badges and introduce themselves at the earliest opportunity.

The Surgical ward consists of a mixture of single rooms and four bedded bays. You will be cared for by a team of nurses who will coordinate the care given to you baby on the ward. Each team of nurses will have a team leader. You will have a nurse allocated to you on a day to day basis that will introduce themselves to you and will be your named nurse for the day or night. We endeavour to provide continuity in care but sometimes you will have different nurse from day to day but will remain in the same nursing team.

Please feel free to ask any questions that you want to. Individuals may not always have the answer to your questions but as a team we will be able to direct you in the right direction.


Medical Ward Level 9


We acknowledge that any inpatient stay is very difficult for families and carers. Our hope is that we can minimise the adverse effects of a hospital stay by providing care in a positive environment, thereby improving the hospital experience.

The Medical Ward is situated on the 9th floor of the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital. The main entrance to the ward is via the lifts and stairwell found in the main atrium of the hospital.

Who will be looking after my baby?

During your stay you will see a lot of the health care professionals that work in the children’s hospital team. All staff should be wearing hospital name badges and will introduce themselves to you.

The Medical ward is a large one and you will be looked after by a team of nurses who will coordinate the care given to your baby on the unit. Each team of nurses will have a team leader. You will have a nurse allocated to you on a day to day basis; they will introduce themselves to you and will be your named nurse for the day or night. We endeavour to provide continuity in care but sometimes you will have different nurse from day to day but will remain in the same nursing team.


When can my baby have visitors?


Visiting times are open to parents and carers in the Alex. Other visitors may visit between 10am and 8pm.


Philosophy of care


We look to provide holistic, family centred care; this means that we recognise the important role that families, carers and the individual have in the caring environment. If we enable the family, carer or individual to make informed knowledge based decisions about their healthcare needs and treatment we can positively affect the outcome of hospital admission. We also know that children respond more positively to treatment if they have their care provided in an environment that they feel is safe and an environment that is as familiar to them as is possible. You will be asked how much care you would like to give to your baby whilst in hospital. We aim to work in partnership with parents and carers so as to enhance the hospital experience.

You will see around the wards environment printed copies of our philosophy of care along with values set down by the trust. Please feel free to comment on these ideas. We are always looking to develop our services and any input from those people that use the service would be much appreciated.

We are able to provide interpreters in a variety of languages. We are also able to provide written information in a variety of languages and in large print. Individual needs can be discussed with nursing staff at any stage of a Childs admission.


Accommodation


We would actively encourage parents and carers to stay with their baby whilst in hospital. However we do recognise that this is not always possible and remain flexible to the requirements of the individual. We do ask however if you are unable to stay that you let us know. Facilities are available at every ward bed space to enable one parent or carer to stay by the patient’s bedside. Linen will be provided. Accommodation is also available in The Ronald McDonald House for long term patients or those families or carers that have travelled long distances. We ask any resident parent to read the rules and regulations appropriate to the area. Alcohol is not allowed on hospital property. There is a non smoking policy throughout the hospital and its grounds. We will challenge any inappropriate behaviour including those associated with alcohol and drug usage.


Infection control


As you are aware infection control issues are extremely important to health care professionals and public alike. We ask that all visitors use the Alcohol Gel dispensers before entering the ward and when leaving. Please wash your hands before handling any food etc on the ward and please ask any other visitors or children that you are with to do the same. Likewise as a Trust we actively promote good hand washing and the use of alcohol hand gel to all our staff. Please feel free to ask any member of staff if they have washed their hands prior to any procedure or assessment process. If there is a problem regarding infection control procedures please feel free to discuss them with your nurse for the day or make an appointment to talk to the ward manager.


The supervision of parents and children while in the
Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital


Hospital staff are committed to the provision of emotional and physical care for the child, their family and carers in an environment that is safe and secure. Ensuring that a child remains safe requires a measure of supervision provided by the parents / carers and the hospital staff in which both parties recognise their responsibility and the need to undertake interventions to prevent accidents occurring.

There is an expectation that parents / carers while in the hospital provide the same supervision of their child as they would expect to do in the home. The Hospital Safety Leaflet outlines some additional regulations that we ask parents / carers to endorse. Hospital staff has a duty of care to respond to safeguarding concerns and the amount of supervision given to the parent and child will reflect the needs of the child. Nurses must have the ability to see the child that they are caring for and must be considered over child / parent privacy but still with a regard to dignity.

Family and carers will naturally wish to be in close contact with their child during hospital admissions and would normally participate in their everyday supervision. On admission it should be clearly established who has parental responsibility and consideration given within the nursing care plan as to who can and who should have access to the child and whether this contact needs to be supervised and if so by whom. It should also be identified if there is anyone who may pose a risk to the child or to other children and if so whether they are likely to attempt to visit and what actions need to occur if this happens.

The importance of contact with parents / carers whilst children are in hospital is recognised and will in most cases be beneficial to all concerned as well as being a significant factor in the process of care, treatment, rehabilitation and recovery. Contact arrangements that exist within the community will be upheld within the hospital environment and should be told to the nurse on admission.

If a child is admitted to a ward and there is concern that the child has suffered or is likely to suffer significant harm then a referral to Children’s Social Care will be made.

A discussion must take place with the social worker accepting the referral as to the level of supervision the parents require in caring for their child, and who will provide this supervision.

The procedure is outlined in the document ‘Supervision of Parents / Carers in Hospital when Safeguarding Concerns are raised’.


Hospital Safety


To make sure the hospital is a safe place for you and your baby, the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital has the following safety guidelines:

  • Do not let other adults or children into the ward, some children may be at risk of harm if unauthorised adults are admitted to the ward.
  • Please tell the ward staff if there is anyone who may pose a risk to your baby, who has restricted access or requires supervised contact and is likely to attempt to visit your baby whilst in hospital.
  • Children need to be observed by nursing staff, when not required for dignity; curtains around beds must have one section open, doors to cubicles to be open at nurse’s request.
  • Night illumination must be allowed to ensure safe access for nurses.
  • For medical emergencies, there is a red emergency pull switch in the bathrooms of all patient rooms.
  • Parents and children who can walk should wear shoes or slippers to avoid injury.
  • Fire drills and other emergency preparedness drills occur from time to time. A nurse will tell you what to do during a drill.
  • Please keep your baby in the cubicle if requested by a nurse. To protect your baby and prevent the spread of infection, hospital staff follows special precautions while caring for your baby, including hand washing and wearing gloves, a mask, a gown or goggles when necessary.
  • If you find a spill of any kind on the floor, tell the nearest hospital staff member. Please do not clean up a spill yourself. Hospital staff members will notify the appropriate personnel.

You can help us assist your family by:

  • Letting us know who will be our primary contact during your baby’s stay and making sure we know how to reach this person.
  • Letting the ward staff know if your baby is subject to a child protection plan and give details of their social worker. This information will be handed over from TMBU as well.

The following Items are prohibited in the hospital:

  • Illegal drugs.
  • alcoholic drinks.
  • weapons.
  • shooting toys.
  • open flames.
  • food-heating appliances (e.g. toasters, hot plates).
  • latex balloons (some children are allergic to latex; mylar balloons are OK).
  • Please check with the nurse before using mobile phones and other radio frequency devices in the High Dependency unit because they disturb medical equipment.

For your baby’s safety please respect the following:

  • Please keep main doors closed at all times.
  • Patients are not allowed to leave the ward without the permission of staff and without being accompanied by an adult.
  • Do not allow people to follow you through the main ward doors.
  • Please inform staff when you are leaving your baby.
  • Please do not feed other children.
  • Please ensure that the siderails on the cot are in place when you are leaving your baby.
  • Please ensure that the cot is in its lowest position at night.
  • Any visitors under 16 years of age are not allowed to stay on the ward unless an adult is present.
  • Please do not touch / interfere with any ward equipment.
  • Please do not lift / carry other children.
  • If your baby is nil by mouth, it means from both food and drink including no water.
  • Please do not bring hot drinks into the ward area.
  • Please inform staff if your baby’s identity band is damaged or removed.
  • Please note the fire exits are through the east and west stairways, next to bed lifts.
  • Do not use mobile phones in the 4 bedded bays or ward corridors.
  • Please inform staff if you notice anything that may present a danger to your baby or to other children in the ward.

Complaints


Whilst we endeavour to ensure high standards of care and monitor the quality of care that we give on a regular basis, we also appreciate that on very rare occasions we don’t get things quite right. We want to learn from these occasions and won’t do unless we are aware of them. Please discuss all aspects of you baby’s care with your nurse if there is a problem, please alert us and we will try to rectify the situation to limit any problems caused. We do have information and a process to make formal complaints, which will be addressed at senior management level this information can be provided on request. It is important for us to be able to develop our services and to do that we need your input.

Trevor Mann Baby Unit
The Royal Sussex County Hospital,
Eastern Road,
Brighton
BN2 5BE

Telephone 01273 696955 Extension 4377


This information is intended for patients receiving care at Brighton or Haywards Heath.

The information here is for guidance purposes only and is in no way intended to replace professional clinical advice by a qualified practitioner.

Publication Date: May 2018

Review Date: January 2023

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