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COVID-19 Parent / Carer and Patient Information

Patient information A-Z

We know that during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic you might have worries and concerns about coming into hospital with your child. We want to reassure you that at Cambridge University Hospital (CUH) we are doing everything we can to continue to keep our patients, families and staff safe by following national, regional and Trust advice and guidance.

We hope that this leaflet will provide you with some helpful information about the changes we have made and what to expect during your child’s stay in hospital.

Urgent advice: Please do not visit the hospital if you have a positive Covid test result or recent onset of:

  • A new continuous cough
  • A high temperature
  • A loss of, change in, your normal sense of taste or smell.

Follow the current Public Health England and Government guidance around self-isolation.

Ward Information

Please call the wards after 08:00; the changeover of nursing staff will be complete by this time.

If you have any questions, please speak to one of the nursing team on the ward. If they are unable to answer your questions they will seek help from the relevant medical teams and senior nursing team.

Coronavirus testing

All patients who are admitted to the hospital and on some occasions their resident parent / carer, will be tested for Coronavirus. If your child has a planned admission this will be undertaken before admission.

Access to the hospital

If your child is an inpatient on any of the wards and you need access to the hospital you will have to use one of the buzzers at the entrance to the hospital and speak to security to gain access. Everyone coming into the hospital is expected to use the sinks or hand gel at the entrance to wash their hands and to wear a face covering to reduce the risk to all patients and staff.

If you are bringing your child to be admitted to the hospital you will receive a phone call the night before your admission to check that no one in the household, including your child, has any symptoms of Coronavirus, or that you have not been contacted by the national track and trace team and been instructed to self-isolate. How to access the hospital for admission will be explained at this time. If you do not receive a phone call and someone in the household develops Coronavirus symptoms please call the ward or your CNS for advice.

Access to the wards

The wards have an intercom at the entrances for parents / carers to ask for access. Please ring the doorbell and say who your child is, the door will then be released so you can enter the ward. Once on the ward you will need to wash your hands again and continue to wear your face covering.


At the current time, we have taken the very difficult decision to restrict visiting of patients in the hospital. On the children’s wards only one parent / carer is allowed to stay with the child. Additional visiting by other members of your household / bubble will change dependent on national guidance and Tier level. Any visitors are asked to take a lateral flow test prior to visiting. There will be posters on the ward explaining what visiting is allowed at the time your child is admitted. This is subject to change at short notice. If you have any questions regarding this please speak to the nurse in charge.

We welcome phone calls from relatives; however we will not give out clinical information over the phone without permission from the legal guardian.

If your child’s hospital admission is longer than seven days then parents / carers can swap who stays with the child. This needs to be in discussion with the ward senior nurse.

While in the hospital

To help us prevent the spread of infection you must wash your hands at the entrance of the ward and as soon as possible before entering, and after leaving, your child’s bed space.

Patients (if appropriate) and all parents / carers will be asked to wear face coverings when walking around the ward, when in a shared bay and when staff members enter the cubicle. Face masks are available at the entrance of the wards.

At all times, social distancing must be adhered to by anyone visiting the hospital site.

If you develop symptoms of Coronavirus while you are staying, you should inform ward staff and go home immediately.

COVID-19 positive patients

If your child has a positive Coronavirus test then they will be admitted to our ‘red’ ward and both child and parent / carer must not leave their allocated bed space. Surgical masks must be worn when staff enter the bed space. If your child has a positive Coronavirus test then no other people will be able to visit.

If you have concerns, questions, or exceptional circumstances you feel you need to talk about, please speak to the nurse in charge

If an inpatient tests positive to Covid

In the event that a child in close proximity to you becomes Covid positive we will follow the Trust infection guidance:

  • All those in the bay will be asked to isolate and the doors will be closed. This is due to being in a hospital setting so is different to government advice for the general public.
  • You will be able to remain resident with your child, however a second parent / carer will not be allowed to visit.
  • There will be a designated bathroom for your use which you will need to ask the staff to use and we request that you wipe down surfaces after use.
  • All those in the bay will be unable to be use any of the facilities within the hospital (food court/concourse) but you will be allowed to leave the ward to go outside. On leaving the ward, please wash your hands and change your mask.
  • Food and drink will be provided for you

If you have concerns, questions, or exceptional circumstances you feel you need to talk about, please speak to the nurse in charge.

On your arrival to the ward

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
All members of staff will be wearing personal protective equipment. We understand that this might be scary for some children; however it is there to protect patients, parents / carers and staff during the pandemic.

Changes to PPE
On occasion it may be necessary for staff to change the PPE that they are wearing in a bay. This will be the case if there is a suspicion that one of the patients in the bay has developed any symptoms of Coronavirus. This will be a requirement from when the child is tested until the test results are back. This is to protect both the other children in the bay and also the staff.

If this situation happens then we would ask that you understand how difficult this is for all of the families involved.

Bed allocation

Allocation of a bed space is based on the clinical need of all patients and allocation decisions are the responsibility of the nurse in charge, in conjunction with the bed manager.

Please speak to the nurse in charge if you have any questions about this.

Elective admissions for theatre – if applicable

For elective theatre cases your child will be tested for Coronavirus around 72 hours before their surgery is due to take place. This will be at their pre-anaesthetic assessment visit.

You will receive a call the night before the planned admission letting you know the results of the test and what to do.

Your child might be given medicine prior to having a general anaesthetic, pre-medication to make sure that they are calm and prepared for their general anaesthetic.

You will be able to walk to theatre with your child but due to the restrictions required in theatres it may not be possible to go into the room while they are given their anaesthetic.

You will be taken to the recovery area where the process for picking up your child from theatre will be explained.

Food and drink

As usual your child will receive all their meals while they are admitted to hospital. Due to the restrictions for parents / carers on the isolation ward there is also an arrangement to provide food and drink for resident carers. For further information regarding this please speak to the staff members on your ward.

Clothing and laundry

There are no facilities for washing clothes at present. Please ensure that you bring supplies for the length of your child’s admission.

Please be aware:

Visiting restrictions and access to the hospital are subject to change in line with Public Health England and UK Government guidelines. We recommend you check the home page of the Trust website for the latest update.

We are smoke-free

Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the hospital campus. For advice and support in quitting, contact your GP or the free NHS stop smoking helpline on 0800 169 0 169.

Other formats

Help accessing this information in other formats is available. To find out more about the services we provide, please visit our patient information help page (see link below) or telephone 01223 256998.

Contact us

Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge

Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151