Bringing your child in for an appointment
Your child or teenager might need to come for an appointment at our Children’s Outpatient Department, either at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital or Cheltenham General Hospital. This could be because they have already been in hospital and we need to make sure they are recovering well, or you have attended the Emergency Department with them. Or your child or teenager may have been referred from another hospital for a specialist opinion.
We have many different specialties which include cancer, neurology, ear nose and throat, ophthalmology, respiratory, cardiology, orthopaedics and many more.
Sometimes, these appointments happen outside of designated Children’s Outpatients Departments, and you might be seen more locally to you.
You will need to check your child/teenager into reception, where the receptionists will check that your details are correct. If you would like to have text reminders for future appointments, then please tell them your mobile telephone number so that we can add this to our records.
Your child or teenager will then be weighed by one of the friendly nurses or health care assistants on duty. Their temperature is taken by putting a small probe in your ear which beeps - it doesn’t hurt and is very quick. The heart rate is taken by the nurse holding their wrist and counting their pulse. We use a special machine to take their blood pressure and use a cuff a bit like an arm band which we place on the top of your arm. These observations will be taken quickly if they try and relax and sit as still as possible. We do understand that this can sometimes be difficult, particularly for smaller children. However our staff are trained in carrying out these procedures and in gently persuading children to have them completed.
Our Outpatients Departments are often busy and sometimes quite noisy. The clinics sometimes overrun, and we will tell you if this is the case for the appointment you are waiting for. There are lots of toys available for your child to play with whilst you wait, including a slide in Cheltenham, a pirate boat and interactive floor at Gloucester, colouring and role play. You might want to bring a book along, or a magazine, a drink or snack. It would also be useful to bring in your red health visitor book if your child is under five and a list of any medications that your child or teenager takes.
After their name is called out, you will take your child or teenager into see the doctor or nurse. They will ask you some questions about them and will ask the child or teenager questions as well. They might want to listen to their chest, or feel their tummy. If your teenager would like to talk to the doctor or nurse without you being present, then we do try to give them this opportunity.
The doctor or nurse will make a plan with you about what will happen next. They might want to see your child or teenager again, or refer them to someone else, or they might offer you an open appointment. Sometimes they might need to have a blood test, or be admitted to hospital to become an inpatient. This doesn’t happen very often though, so try not to worry.
If you have any worries or concerns about anything, however big or small, please speak to a member of the team.