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The acute assessment unit (AAU)

The acute assessment unit (AAU)

AAU is a busy 14 bedded unit. The unit is usually used for referrals, short stay admissions and Emergency Department (ED) patients that we need to watch for a longer time.

Please use the use the entrance for the Emergency Department to get to AAU.

Please bring any special dietary requirements, milk or medication your child may need during their stay. If are having trouble with this, please tell AAU when you arrive.

What happens when we arrive at AAU?

When you get to the Emergency Department, you will need to book your child in at reception. Please let them know that you are here to be seen in AAU.

Your child will need to be assessed by the triage nurse before their admission to AAU. Sometimes the unit is full and you may have to wait in the Emergency Department.

You will be seen in order of priority, and not in order of arrival. The triage nurse will inform AAU and Emergency Department of your child’s requirements. Priority can be changed at any point.

What happens next?

A nurse will be assigned to your child and they will look after your child until they are seen by a member of the team.

A member of the AAU team will come to see your child and will decide a plan for their care. Often, a senior review will also happen after this initial review.

Can I stay with my child?

Yes. No child can be left unaccompanied on the unit at any time.

There is space for 2 parents or carers to stay with your child during the day, but only 1 can stay with your child over night.

The unit has no particular visiting times but we ask that you respect other patients and families who are on the unit and are trying to rest.

What are the facilities?

There are 2 bathrooms both with toilets and showers are available on the unit. Please ask a member of staff for towels or toiletries if needed.

A water fountain is in the entrance area of AAU. A tea and coffee trolley is provided overnight only.  Please make sure all hot drinks have lids on and are out of the reach of small children. A vending machine with snacks and drinks is on the corridor between the Emergency Department and AAU.

The dining room is open every day from 7.30am till 6pm.

Food slips are available for parents and careers to get food for their child from the canteen. Please ask your child’s named nurse for more details. Toast and cereal and a small selection of sandwiches are available out-of-hours for patients.

Most commonly used baby milks and a small variety of baby food jars are also available. An infant feeding team are available within hours for support of breastfeeding. Breast pumps also available. Please ask staff for details.

Nappies will only be provided in an emergency.

Other food and coffee shops can be found around the hospital.

Please help to keep our unit tidy by placing rubbish in the bins provided.


Parking is available outside the hospital and restricted to 4 hours only. These spaces are limited and only for use whilst in AAU or Emergency Department. Vouchers are available from Emergency Department reception.

A multi-storey carpark is on Durham street, opposite the new main entrance. This is 24 hour parking. Surrounding streets also have parking but most are restricted to 4 hours.

A freephone taxi phone is available in the Emergency Department reception.

What if we have more questions when we get home?

The unit is open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day and can be contacted by phone. You may be given an open access form when your child is discharged with contact details. This means you will have access to the unit for 48 hours after being discharged.

If you have any questions please ask to speak to your allocated nurse or the nurse in charge. If you would like to make a complaint or comment, or have other issues relating to your stay please contact the patient, advice and liaison service (PALS) team.

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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.

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Western Bank
S10 2TH

United Kingdom

Switchboard: 0114 271 7000

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