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Information for Parents and Carers

Parents' facilities:

There is a shower room and toilet situated at the bottom right hand side of the ward for all parents to use during their time on the ward. Baby changing facilities are also available; these are located in the toilet opposite cubicle 6.

A parents' room is also available for you to use during your child's stay, this is situated next to the shower room. Within the parents' room there is a fridge, microwave, toaster, and tea and coffee making facilities. Please feel free to bring in food and put it in the fridge once you have labelled it with your bed number, date and child's surname. Please be mindful that these facilities are used by all parents and relatives, so ensure that these are kept clean following your use.   If there are any problems or concerns please report these to a member of staff.

There is a pull down bed by each bed space to enable one parent to be resident with their child.  If you wish to stay overnight at Ronald McDonald House, you should speak to the ward staff and ask them to complete a request form.  If there is a room available, you will be notified accordingly.  Sometimes there may be a waiting list.  You will be charged a deposit of £20 which is refundable when you depart.  You can obtain day passes from the ward if you wish to use the facilities in Ronald Macdonald House.

Restaurant and shop opening times

The following facilities can be found on the ground floor of the Children's hospital:

"Moment to" restaurant 7.00 am - 8.00 pm 7 days a week

WHSmith 7.00 am - 7.00 pm Monday - Friday, 8.00 am - 6.00 pm Saturday and Sunday

Costa coffee  7.00 am - 8.30 pm Monday - Friday, closed Saturday and Sunday

Subway  7.00 am - 9.00 pm Monday - Friday, 7.00 am - 8.00 pm Saturday and Sunday

A cash machine is located opposite WHSmith.

Televisions and mobile phones:

There is a TV situated at every bed space, this can be used by the children with no charge complimentary from CMFT between the hours of 7.00 am - 9.00pm. If you wish to continue using the TV outside of these hours then a TV card can be purchased using the box under the main stairs by Costa coffee, alternatively purchases can be made using your TV telephone, which connects you directly to Hospedia, the service provider.  If you wish to use your Television past 9.00 pm we ask that you use headphones to allow others to sleep. These are available from staff on the ward. We also ask that mobile phones are kept on silent whilst on the main ward, and used with mindfulness of other patients on the ward.


During the hours of 12.30 pm to 1.00 pm and 5.00 pm to 6.00 pm, the ward operates 'Protected Mealtimes'. This means that during this time, the ward and staff promote a quieter and calmer environment, so the children can eat their meals in a more relaxed atmosphere.  This also means should any visitors arrive during this time, they will be asked to return once this period is over.  The lights will be switched off to help create a calmer environment. Children are encouraged to sit out of bed at mealtimes if they are able to do so.  We advise that children are at their beds at mealtimes as we are unable to reheat them.

If your child is off the ward for a medical intervention, you will be given an alternative option.  For breakfast between 8.00 am - 9.00 am, a member of staff will offer each child and resident parent cereal/toast and a hot/cold drink.  Lunch and tea are ordered through MAPLE.  The ward operates 2 snack rounds at 10.30 am and 2.30 pm. A staff member offers each child a drink and a choice of various snacks.  Mums who are breastfeeding babies under 6 months are also offered meals.  Parents can eat alongside their child in the bays.  Please be mindful of others in the bay.  Hot drinks can only be brought onto the ward in thermos mugs.  These can  be purchased on the ward for £5 which goes to the Ward 78 charity fund.

Car parking

Car parking is available in the Hathersage road multi-storey car park.  As a parent you may be entitled to reduced parking fees.  For more information please speak to a member of staff who will complete a form for you.  For all other visitors, there is a charge for the car park and the details are shown at the pay machines.


If you have any worries please speak to your allocated nurse.  We recognise families know their child best.  Any concerns you may have about your child's condition are taken seriously and the nurse in charge is informed part of SAFE.

Hand washing and infection

Whilst your child is in hospital you will notice all staff washing their hands or using alcohol gel.  This is to prevent the spread of germs and infection.  Please take a few minutes to wash your hands and use the alcohol gel provided around the ward.  If your child is in a cubicle due to an infection you may be asked to wear an apron, gloves and other forms of personal protective equipment.  As a precautionary measure, in order to check your child is not carrying certain germs, we screen children on a regular basis.  Swabs are taken for MRSA and CPE.

Multi-faith prayer rooms

There are multi-faith prayer rooms available, one on the ground floor and one on the first floor.  We have multi-faith chaplains in the hospital whose role is to care for children and families.  If you wish to speak to a chaplain or a faith leader please ask a member of staff.  A spiritual support service and kosher kitchen is also available.

Play and school

Play is a very important part of any child's recovery process.  The play specialist assists in the management of anxiety, fear, phobias and non-compliance by providing psychological preparation, along with distraction and diversional therapies for a variety of procedures and treatments.  The play leader provides play and recreation to help keep some normality for the child or young person in a hospital environment.  In the morning, the play leader ensures each child has toys and activities to do and the afternoon is for one to one sessions.  The playroom is open 9.00 am - 5.00 pm Monday - Friday and open 9.00 am - 5.00 pm Saturday and Sunday dependant on nursing staff.  All children in the playroom must be supervised.  A multi-sensory room, teen zone and outdoor play area are also available by booking with the play leader.  The school is available for children who have been an inpatient for more than three days.  One to one sessions are done on the ward by a school teacher if your child is unable to leave the ward.  If your child is mobile, they will be able to go to the school room.  If you have any concerns about school work, please talk to the teacher.


On your child's discharge we will ask you to complete our patient tracker.  This is a ward electronic patient experience hand held device.  It gives us feedback on how we are doing and helps us make our service as good as possible.  By completing this, your child receives a ward 78 teddy bear or a wristband.  This enables us to ensure our service is as good as possible for you.

Contacting the ward

The ward is happy to take phone calls from concerned parents and family members.  Please be reminded that there is only a certain amount of information we are able to give out over the phone, this is for confidentiality reasons.  The ward contact numbers are 0161 701 7800/7802/7803.

What you need to know whilst you are on the ward:

  • You must provide your own nappies/pads after 24 hours.
  • Cubicles are kept for patients who specifically require them.  If you are put in a cubicle for any other reason you may be asked to move.
  • Curtains must remain open at all times unless getting dressed/washed/medical procedure.  When curtains are closed around a bed, nursing staff are unable to observe the patients.
  • Parent's beds must be tidied away into the upright position by 8.00 am.  This allows for extra space whilst ward rounds are going on and also accessibility to the patients for nursing and medical staff.
  • You are solely responsible for all valuables that you bring to the ward.  All stolen items should be reported.
  • Bed spaces free from clutter.
  • Long term patients may move bed spaces so bed spaces can be thoroughly cleaned.