Staying on a ward

Staying on a ward

alder_hey_ward.jpgAlder Hey in the Park has been designed to be inviting, warm, happy, calming and educational. 75% of patients will have their own bedroom with en-suite facilities and views of the park wherever possible. Wards are bright with lots of space but families are also able to enjoy privacy and dignity.

Bedrooms have been designed to make patients feel at home and patients are able to control the light and temperature in their room.

Our inpatient wards are on levels three and four of our hospital. You can find them easily by taking the lift from the main atrium.

What you need to know

  • Make sure to check what your visiting hours are before you leave – these may vary from ward to ward.
  • Each room has a special parent bed so one parent or carer can stay overnight.
  • Play decks are located at the end of each ward, allowing patients and families to enjoy fresh air and outdoor space with great park views.
  • There is limited space for storage on the wards. It is a good idea to only bring one small hand baggage sized bag.
  • Each ward has its own chef. Patients will be able to choose from a varied menu and have their meals freshly prepared, when they want to eat them.
  • For parents, carers and visitors, hot and cold food is available from the Atrium. Drink making facilities are available on each ward.

alder_hey_ward_view.jpgThings to think about if your child is being admitted for treatment, day case surgery or an operation

  • Read your admission letter. If your child is being admitted for an operation, it’s really important to follow the instructions about fasting beforehand. An operation can be cancelled if you don’t follow these instructions. It is unsafe to have an anaesthetic after eating or drinking. There is a risk that food or drink can enter a child’s lungs during surgery, causing potentially life threatening complications if they have not fasted properly beforehand.
  • Certain procedures can carry an increased risk if the patient is pregnant. All hospitals, including children’s hospitals, are required to check for pregnancy before carrying out procedures such as anaesthesia and surgery. This applies to girls aged 12 years or older.
  • Make sure your child has removed all jewellery, nail varnish and makeup before they come to hospital. This can interfere with medical treatment.
  • For most surgical procedures, your child will be able to wear their own pyjamas as long as they are made from cotton and have no metal fasteners.
  • Food is allowed on the surgical day case ward only for patients who have had their operation. If your child is having day case surgery you are welcome to bring another adult to wait with you. However due to shortage on space we do ask that you only bring one person if possible.

See wards on a map

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More information about testing for pregnancy

Testing for pregnancy at Alder Hey

All female patients aged 12 years or older who are having a procedure or surgery involving a general anaesthetic (putting them to sleep) will be asked to provide a sample of urine for a pregnancy test before their procedure.

Providing the urine sample

A sample of urine should be collected on the morning of the procedure. The first urine of the day is the best as it is the most concentrated, but it can be collected later.

If the urine is collected at home the sample should be stored in a suitable container in the fridge until you are ready to travel to Alder Hey Hospital.

Suitable containers can be obtained from your GP, any pharmacy or Alder Hey. Please ring 0151 252 5488 (or via switchboard on 0151 228 4811, extension 2488) if you would like a container sent to you by post.

Information Leaflets

Search for 'pregnancy testing' in our information leaflets section.

Consent and Confidentiality

If a doctor considers a young person to be mature enough they are judged to be ‘competent to consent’ and can agree to the pregnancy test for themselves.

The hospital cannot share the result of the pregnancy tests with parents or carers without a competent young person’s permission. We will encourage young people to involve their parent or carer in decisions about their care, but we will not routinely inform parents or carers of the result of the pregnancy test, even if it is negative.

Sometimes it is necessary to cancel or delay procedures at short notice. If this happens, please do not assume that this is due to the result of a pregnancy test.

Alder Hey Consent Policy for Children and Young People

Who can give Consent?

If children have capacity to give consent for themselves, health care professionals are asked to seek consent directly from them. The legal position regarding ‘capacity’ is different for children aged over and under 16.

Children aged 16 and 17

At 16 years of age, a young person can be presumed to have the capacity to consent to their own treatment, care and non-medical interventions. This means that in many respects they should be treated as adults – for example if a signature on a consent form is necessary, they can sign for themselves

However, it is still good practice to encourage children who have capacity to involve their families / carers in decision-making.

Where a child with capacity asks a health care professional to keep their confidence, they must do so, unless they can justify disclosure on the grounds that they have reasonable cause to suspect that the child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm if the disclosure is not made.

Health care professionals should however seek to persuade the child to involve their family, unless they believe that it is not in their best interests to do so.

Younger children

Unlike 16 or 17 year olds, children under 16 are not automatically presumed to have capacity to make decisions about their healthcare. However, the courts have stated that under 16s will have capacity to give valid consent to a particular intervention if they have “sufficient understanding and intelligence to enable him or her to understand fully what is proposed” (sometimes known as “Gillick competence”).

In other words, there is no specific age when a child gains capacity to consent to treatment: it depends both on the child and on the seriousness and complexity of the treatment being proposed. However, a child over 16 is presumed to have capacity

Health care professionals will help children by involving them from an early age in decisions and encouraging them to take an increasing part in the decisions about their care. This will particularly apply when caring for a particular child over a period of time, for example where the child needs a series of operations.

If a child under 16 has capacity to consent to a particular intervention, it is still good practice to involve their family in decision-making unless the child specifically asks the health care professional not to do so and they cannot persuade the child otherwise.

As with older children, health care professionals must respect any request from a child under 16 years of age with capacity to keep their treatment confidential, unless they can justify disclosure on the grounds that they have reasonable cause to suspect that the child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm if that information is not disclosed.

If a child lacks capacity to consent, consent may be obtained from someone with parental responsibility for the child. However, it is seen as good practice to involve all children (even really young children) in decisions about their care.

The Gillick Competence Test

This helps clinicians to identify children aged under 16 who have the legal capacity to consent to medical examination and treatment. They must be able to demonstrate sufficient maturity and intelligence to understand the nature and implications of the proposed treatment, including the risks and alternative courses of actions.

An assessment of capacity should be completed in accordance with the Gillick competence test and recorded in the notes as well as the outcome of assessment.

Further information on national recommendations:


Alder Hey Children's Charity
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