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Moving from critical care to a ward

We realise that moving from the critical care environment to a ward area can be an anxious time for some children and families. This resource aims to answer some of your questions and anxieties.

Why is my child being transferred to a ward?

The decision for your child to move to a ward area is based on the level of care that they require. When your child’s condition improves and they no longer need critical care we will arrange for their transfer to a ward for ongoing care.

The medical and nursing staff will arrange the most appropriate place for your child to receive ongoing care. This may be another ward at Sheffield Children’s Hospital or it may be a ward at your local hospital.

The critical care staff will be able to provide specific information about your transfer.

Can I visit the ward before my child is transferred?

Yes. If you wish to visit the ward before your child is transferred please speak to the nurse who is looking after your child and they will try to arrange for you to have a look around the ward and answer any questions you may have. Our play specialists can also accompany you to look around the ward area.

Who will transfer my child to the ward?

One of our nurses will accompany you and your child to the ward with the help of a hospital porter. The nurse will give the ward nurses a detailed handover about your child’s illness and the care they have received on the critical care unit.

Who will care for my child on the ward?

Each ward has an experienced team of specially trained children’s nurses, doctors and other staff who will be caring for your child along with the care you provide for them. The consultant responsible for your child’s care will see them at least once a day.

Nurses on the ward have a group of children to look after and are always mindful of the needs of each individual child. The staff on the ward will always aim to meet the needs of your child as quickly as possible.

Can parents stay overnight?

Yes. The wards have foldaway beds or comfy chairs at the side of the child’s bed where one parent can stay overnight. A limited number of rooms are available in Treetops (provided by The Sick Children’s Trust) along with cooking and laundry facilities. Please ask a nurse or housekeeper to see if there is a room available for you.

Will my child have a single room?

There are a number of single rooms or cubicles in the ward areas which are given out on priority need basis. Some children are nursed in small bays of 4 to 6 beds.

What is the daily routine on the ward?

The ward routine and facilities available on the ward will be explained to you by the ward staff during your child’s stay.

Play and distraction for your child

There are play specialists on all of the wards who are able to provide toys and activities for your child. Some of the wards also have a play room or play area for your child to go to play away from their bed.

Activities provided include:

  • Arts and crafts
  • Imaginative play
  • Messy play
  • Jigsaws and games
  • Constructive play
  • Sensory and relaxation play

Many of the beds on the wards have personal TVs with parental controls.

Concerns or complaints

If you have any concerns please speak to a member of staff. Alternatively you can contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 0114 271 7594.

Is something missing from this resource that you think should be included? Please let us know

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Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

Resource number: ICU2

Resource Type: Article

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Amy Pickard/ Donna Roberts


Western Bank
S10 2TH

United Kingdom

Switchboard: 0114 271 7000

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