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Paediatric permanent open door service

What is the permanent open door service?

It’s for children and young people with specific medical conditions or needs who need ongoing hospital care. Permanent open door allows children and young people to access care without having to get a referral from their GP or A&E. The aim is that your child will get timely, co-ordinated, high quality care with minimal disruption to their daily lives

Your child’s consultant will decide whether to put them on open door.

When do we use the permanent open door service?

When your child becomes unwell with their specific condition or need.

For all other concerns about your child, take your child to their GP or A&E.

For example, if your child is on the permanent open door service because they have severe asthma and they have a tummy bug, contact your child’s GP.

Or, if your child is on the open door service beacuse they have asthma but they’ve broken their arm, go to A&E.

If your child is seriously unwell, call 999. Do not wait to call the Children’s Emergency Department.

If you’re not sure if you should use the permanent open door service or go to your child’s GP or A&E  call the Children’s Emergency Department on 01296 315216.

How do we access the permanent open door service?

Children’s Emergency Department

01296 315216

24-hours a day, 7 days a week.

Children’s Day Unit at Wycombe

01494 425506

Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm (excluding bank holidays).

When you call either us, you must tell us:

  • that you’re child’s on temporary open door
  • their name
  • date of birth
  • their hospital (MRN) number (if you know it).

You’ll find your child’s hospital (MRN) number on any letters you have received from the hospital.

What will the nurses or doctors tell me when I call?

They’ll give advice over the phone or ask you to bring your child to either the Children’s Emergency Department or Children’s Day Unit.

They might tell you to call an ambulance or come to A&E if they think your child is at immediate risk and needs urgent assessment.

We may allocate a community or specialist nurse to your child. You can contact them for advice or they may ask you to come to the Children’s Emergenct Department or CDU. They’ll give you their contact details when they contact you.

If you can’t get through to the Children’s Emergenct Department or CDU, call Ward 3 (the children’s inpatient ward) on 01296 315145.

Where is the Children’s Emergency Department?

It’s at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Waddeson Wing next to A&E. When you arrive please come to the reception desk in A&E.

Where is the Children’s Day Unit (CDU)?

It’s at Wycombe Hospital and signposted from the entrance. Come directly to the CDU (Ward 11).

Do we need to bring anything?

Yes. Bring any medication that your child takes, as well as an overnight bag with some night clothes, toiletries, nappies and change of clothes in case of possible admission.

What happens when we arrive at the Children’s Emergency Department?

A nurse will assess your child. A paediatric doctor will then see them and make a plan about your child’s care.

Sometimes your child will just see a nurse, for example if they need a specific procedure like the insertion of a new nasogastric tube.

The Children’s Emergency Department can be very busy. We see children in order of clinical priority.

If my child needs to be admitted where will they go?

We’ll admit them to Ward 3 (the children’s inpatient ward) which is on the ground floor of the hospital.

Does my child still need a GP if they’re on the permanent open door service?

Yes, it’s important that your child  has a GP.  The paediatric team at Stoke Mandeville Hospital and the Children’s Day Unit at Wycombe will work closely with your child’s GP, and any other health and social care professionals involved in your child’s care.

Your child’s GP can be an ideal person to talk to about other concerns which don’t relate to your child’s specific medical need or condition.

If your child’s paediatric consultant prescribes them any medication, they must get ongoing supplies from their GP.

How long will my child be on the permanent open door service?

It depends on your child’s needs on a temporary basis. As a parent or carer, we’ll involve you in any decisions about your child’s care.

Can other children in my family use the permanent open door service?

This service is just for your child who was put onto the permanent open door service.

Our paediatric team will see other children in your family following a GP referral if they become unwell.

How can I help reduce healthcare associated infections?

Infection prevention and control is important to the wellbeing of our patients so we have procedures in place. Keeping your hands clean is an effective way of preventing the spread of infections.

You, and anyone visiting you, must use the hand sanitiser available at the entrance to every ward before coming in and after you leave. You may need to wash your hands at the sink using soap and water. Hand sanitisers are not suitable for dealing with patients who have symptoms of diarrhoea.

About our patient information

We aim to make the information as up to date and accurate as possible, but please note that it’s subject to change. You must always check specific advice on any concerns you may have with your doctor.

Contact us

Children's Emergency Department
Children's Day Unit
Children's Emergency Department

01296 315216

24-hours a day, 7 days a week.

Children's Day Unit

01494 425506

Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm (excluding bank holidays).