Children’s Emergency Department at CUH

What to expect when you come to the Emergency Department

Arrive by ambulance or private transport

We will ask for your child’s name, date of birth, next of kin and contact details.



A nurse will ask questions about your child’s illness or injury. They will then take your child’s vital signs. This assessment allows us to assign your child a category number, which represents how urgently you need to be seen by a doctor or nurse practitioner. This is why some people may arrive to the department after you but may be seen before you. This is to ensure that the most unwell people are seen promptly.

Wait to be seen by a doctor or nurse practitioner:

During this time, nurses will assess your child, provide pain relief and make sure it is still safe to wait.
Wait to be seen

Assessment by a doctor or nurse practitioner:

A doctor or nurse practitioner will assess your child. They may order tests or treatments.
They will decide if you can go home or need specialist care.

Assessment by a specialty team:

You may be referred to another specialty team by the emergency clinician. In some cases,
the specialty team will see you directly if you have already been referred by your GP.

Discharge home or admission to hospital

Discharge home or admission to hospital:

4 out of 5 children can safely return home after being treated in the Emergency
Department. You may need to return to hospital if your child becomes more unwell. Clear
instructions will be given to help you manage your child’s illness at home and to help you
decide if you need to return.

Some children will be admitted to hospital for treatment of their illness or injury. One
parent or carer stays with their child overnight.

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