Information for parents

Information for parents image

Parents sitting room

Being admitted to hospital

It’s nice for children to have familiar things around them when they are admitted to hospital. We are happy for you to bring clothing, toiletries and a favourite toy, game or blanket. Please be aware that staff cannot be responsible for items brought onto the ward.

Wherever possible, please supply clothing for your children and nappies for babies and toddlers.

We have a play room and an outside play area for the children to use but request that children are supervised in these areas by a parent or carer at all times. There is also a young people’s room for patients aged 13 years and above.

Staying with your child

Your child will be given a bed on Riverbank. You are very welcome to stay with your child during their stay in hospital. Whenever possible we will provide you with a camp bed or reclining chair for the night so that you can sleep next to your child. There are shower facilities available in the parent’s room.

Only one parent or appropriate adult (no boyfriends or girlfriends) over the age of 18 may stay with a patient overnight.

Our staff

A brief introduction to our team members and people you are likely to meet while your child is in hospital is available on the meet the team page.

A list of our paediatric consultants and their details, including qualifications, is available on our consultants database.


The entrance to Riverbank ward is locked at all times. You will need to press the buzzer to be let in and ask the staff to let you out. The security is in place to safeguard your child. Please don’t let anyone else into the unit as you come and go.


Visiting is unrestricted. We do however ask that you limit the number of visitors sat by the bedside to four at a time. To give all of the children the opportunity to get plenty of rest and sleep, we do encourage visitors to leave at a reasonable time in the evening.

Any visitors under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an appropriate adult and are not allowed to visit during school hours.

Food and drink

If your child is able to eat, they will be offered three meals a day and snacks are available throughout the day. You can help yourself to squash and water for yourself and your child. Resident parents will be offered a light breakfast in the morning. Breastfeeding mothers will be also be offered lunch and supper.

There is a parent’s sitting room on the ward with a vending machine and facilities for you to make complimentary tea, coffee and hot chocolate. Hot drinks are not to be taken onto the ward unless they are covered with a lid so please ensure that all tea and coffee from the parent’s room is drunk in the parent’s room.

There is a shop, café and restaurant in the hospital where you can purchase additional food and drink for yourself.

We have some baby foods available for your infant and we stock a range of first formula infant milks. You are welcome to bring your own milk, if your child is on a specialist milk please bring a supply with you. There are sterilisers on the ward and staff can sterilise your babies’ bottles for you.


Information about parking at the hospital is available here.

Riverbank offers concessionary parking for parents. Ask a member of staff on the ward for more details.

Hospedia TV and entertainment system

Every bed has a TV and telephone system attached to it. To use this system you need to speak to customer services. This is done by lifting the handset and talking to the operator.

All patients can make free calls to 01, 02, 03 landline numbers from the bedside unit and watch Free TV on channels 1-5, typically from 7am to 7pm on children’s wards.


When a child is unwell, it is natural to worry and want to know how things are going. We are not able to give information out to all friends and family over the phone. It would be helpful if you could nominate a family member or friend to keep in touch with you and ask them to let everyone else know how your child is.

Supporting your child having an anaesthetic

Sometimes it can be difficult to know where to begin when trying to explain things to children. It can also be a stressful and daunting time as a parent especially if you do not know what to expect. We have included links to some useful websites and our own video for you and your child to help you understand and explain what may happen.

The Royal College of Anaesthetics has a useful information for parents, available here.

Find out more about your child’s general anaesthetic here

You can also find information about identifying and managing your child’s pain following day case surgery at

We would like to make your stay on the ward with your child as comfortable as possible. If you have any concerns regarding your child’s care or treatment please do not hesitate to speak to a member of staff.

Comments and feedback

If you would like to make any comments about the care or facilities you can do so by:

  • Speaking to a member of staff
  • Filling out a comments form 
    (these can be found on the reception desk and in the parents room)
  • Contacting the PALS office on 0300 123 1732

Click here for more information about comments and complaints.