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When your child is coming to Wycombe Hospital for a general anaesthetic – Ward 11

Ward 11 welcomes you to our department. We are a day surgery Paediatric Ward and our staff have a wealth of experience in caring for all our younger patients.

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

If you have any questions or problems please telephone the Unit on 01494 425506.

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 days 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

Before your child comes in:

  • Please ensure they to 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 don’t 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.

Getting here:

Ward 11 is based at Wycombe Hospital. Use the main car park which is pay on exit. Ward 11 is at the back of the hospital on Level 1. The ward opens at 8.00am. You will need to ring the buzzer to enter the ward, and let us know you have arrived.

Map showing ward 11 at Wycombe Hospital

One parent/guardian is 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. Please make arrangements for any siblings as they will not be able to attend.

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.

After your child’s operation:

Initially, your child will be taken to the Recovery area, which is where your child will start to wake up. As soon as the Recovery Nurse is satisfied that your child is recovered safely you will be taken to Recovery to be with your child.

After the Recovery Room you will return to the ward, so your child can continue to recover, and receive something to eat and drink.

Depending on the nature of the surgery you could expect to remain in the Unit for 2-4 hours after the operation/procedure.

Prior to discharge:

A Nurse will give you advice and an information leaflet as to what to do following your discharge. Your child may, if necessary, be given some medication to take home with you to support your child’s treatment.

You will be given details of any follow up treatment required and advised whether the Surgeon needs to see your child again.

You may also be given a letter for your records, a letter is sent electronically to the GP within a few days of your child’s discharge.

Please have some paracetamol and ibuprofen at home to give your child for pain relief after surgery.

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 (WYCOMBE 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.

If you have any questions or queries please contact us on 01494 425506.