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When your child is coming to Stoke Mandeville Hospital for a general anaesthetic – Ward 3

Ward 3 welcomes you to our department. We are the main Paediatric Ward and our staff have a wealth of experience in caring for all younger patients.

Please take time to read this information booklet so that you and your child are properly prepared for your visit.

If you have any questions or problems please telephone the Unit on 01296 315145.

If your child is unable to attend their operation/procedure, please telephone the Admissions number on your letter.

Pre-operative Assessment:

You may already have completed a Health Status Questionnaire. Please return this more than 10 before your child’s planned procedure as this will enable us to prepare for your visit. If a full pre-operative assessment is required prior to your child’s procedure, the Anaesthetic Department will contact you. This may be a telephone call, it rarely requires a visit to the hospital.

For more information:

The Royal College of Anaesthetists has information leaflets available in English and other language versions. Visit their website at and search for ‘child anaesthetic leaflet’.

The Association of Paediatric Anaesthetists also has some videos that you and your child can view on their website.

Please feel free to ask any questions at any time and tell us if you have any concerns.

On the day of admission
Getting here:

Ward 3 is based at Stoke Mandeville Hospital. Use the main entrance car park A (pay and display) or B, which is pay on exit . Ward 3 is in the main hospital building on the ground floor, at the far end of the corridor away from the canteen. You will need to ring the buzzer to enter the ward, and let us know you have arrived. There is a small waiting area with plenty of chairs and a playroom by the Nurses station.

Before your child comes in:

  • Please ensure they have a bath or shower
  • Please remove any make up/ nail varnish/ false nails
  • Please be prepared to remove any jewellery

Please bring with you:

  • Your child’s dressing gown and slippers
  • A pair of cotton pants
  • Reading material or tablet to keep them occupied
  • Favourite cuddly toy for younger children
  • Some money/card to pay for car parking on site
  • Your child’s regular medication in the correct prescription boxes
  • Please do not bring large amounts of money or any other valuable items.

Mobile telephones can be brought but should be switched off in clinical areas

Starving instructions

For a morning admission time:

FOOD: Your child must not eat anything after 2:30am (this includes cows or formula milk, chewing gum and sweets). If under 1 year your child may have breastmilk up until 4:30am.

DRINK: Your child may drink tap water up to 7:30am on the day of your operation/procedure. After 7:30am they should not drink anything at all.

For an afternoon admission time

FOOD: Your child may have a light breakfast (cereal or toast) but nothing to eat after 7:30am (this includes milk, chewing gum and sweets). If under 1 year your child may have breastmilk up until 9:30am.

DRINK: Your child may drink tap water up to 12:30pm on the day of their operation/procedure.

Your child can take any usual medication, including inhalers as normal, with a small amount of water.

If your child requires insulin, please ring and check with us how to adjust their dosing before and after surgery.

On the day of your admission:

Parents/guardians are welcome to stay and wait before and after surgery, and you will be reunited with your child as soon as they are safely recovered from their operation. It may be necessary to wait for some time before going to theatre.

Getting ready for your child’s operation/procedure:

A time for arrival will be specified on your child’s admission letter. Please come directly to the ward.

The order of the theatre list is only confirmed on the day and may be subject to change so please be prepared to wait before your child’s procedure.

Your child’s Surgeon will see you and explain your child’s operation. The Surgeon will explain the risks, benefits and alternatives to surgery before they ask you to sign the consent form. They must obtain your consent to any operation or procedure before you leave the ward.

The Anaesthetist will also visit you on the ward on the day of surgery. They will ask you questions about your child’s medical history to decide the best way to anaesthetise your child safely. They will discuss the benefits and risks relating to the different options. They may offer your child a pre- medication before surgery if your child is particularly anxious, and will discuss options for pain relief during and after surgery.

Your child must have a responsible adult to accompany them home by car or taxi. Your child must have a responsible adult with them for 24 hours after their operation/procedure.

If you require a medical certificate please ask at the beginning of your child’s stay.

Little Journey App for tablets and phones

Here at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust we know that little journeys are a BIG deal. With this in mind we have collaborated with the creators of the ‘Little Journey’ app to provide a virtual visual path for you and your child to be guided through their stay with us in theatre.

This journey includes:

the places your child may visit in the hospital,
the people they may meet, who they are and what they do.
some of the equipment we may use.
We hope this will help to prepare your child for coming into the hospital in a way that is easy for them to understand, can be used as frequently as required and at your convenience.

Download the ‘Little Journey’ app from the app store (Apple or Android devices)

Select ‘Parent/Carer’ from the menu options you are given and type in the relevant hospital site (STOKE MANDEVILLE Hospital)

You will then be able to select the theatre suite you are going to (this can be found on your information letter) and the age level that is most appropriate for your child (3+ or 8+) to start your child’s journey.