Yeovil Child Health Services are provided from Yeovil District Hospital and include inpatient, outpatient and community services for children and young adults from birth to 20 years of age.

The ward and clinic areas on level 10 of Yeovil District Hospital have been designed to provide both a child and family-friendly environment to reduce the stress facing families during short, medium and longer term visits to the unit.

The department has a range of activities to help in the education and development of the children. These include, during term time, a school. Yeovil also has a wide range of visiting medical teams who support the care of children as close to home as possible. We have excellent links with local Social Services and education organisations.

The ward area has benefited from the kind donations of the local community and has a dedicated cancer care suite which has been designed to support the needs of the children undergoing cancer-related treatments.

Specialist children’s nurses are working with the medical teams to provide support to children attending the A&E department through the Paediatric Assessment Unit (PAU).

The medical and nursing staff welcome the comments of local users and visitors to the Child Health Service and are constantly looking at ways to improve the care given to children and the support offered to their parents or carers. Below are some of the comments we have received together with our response:

  • “We don’t like the food”
    Staff met with the catering manager and a new menu for children and young people was devised which is much more appealing to our younger patients.
  • “My son would benefit from access to fresh air during his frequent admissions”
    The Matron met with the Facilities Department and the play area on the roof has been renovated and is available for all paediatric patients.
  • “It’s too far to the coffee shop for parents and visitors” 
    We have ordered a hot drinks machine for the lift area.

Over the coming months we will be adding further pages to this website, with a paediatric section dedicated to and designed specifically for children due to come into hospital.This will include a guide for parents. Feel free to download our Children’s Coming Into Hospital Booklet.

 

Severe respiratory illness:

We’re seeing an increase in severe respiratory illness in children as restrictions ease and people mix more, with cases higher than usual for this time of year and further increases expected over winter months.

Parents are encouraged to look out for symptoms of severe respiratory infection in at-risk children, including a high temperature of 37.8°C or above (fever), a dry and persistent cough, difficulty feeding, rapid or noisy breathing (wheezing).

While respiratory infections are common in children, last winter saw much fewer infections in younger people due to COVID-19 restrictions. This means that many will not have developed immunity and may be at higher risk of severe illness. We may also see more cases than in a typical season.

For the majority of children, these illnesses will not be serious and they will soon recover following rest and plenty of fluids.

Most cases of bronchiolitis are not serious and clear up within 2 to 3 weeks, but parents should contact their GP or call NHS 111 if:

  • Their child struggles to breath.
  • Their child has taken less than half their usual amount during the last 2 or 3 feeds, or they have had a dry nappy for 12 hours or more.
  • The child has a persistent high temperature of 37.8C or above.

Some children under 2, especially those born prematurely or with a heart condition, can suffer more serious consequences from these common respiratory infections.

Find out more about the symptoms and what to do here.

The Paediatric Assessment Unit (PAU) is based in the A&E Department. It enables most children coming into the emergency department, or sent to hospital urgently by their GP, to be seen in a dedicated paediatric area, staffed by senior paediatric nursing staff and experienced children’s and emergency doctors.

PAU enables children to be seen promptly and assessed in the unit by staff familiar with the needs of children, and the processes of admission, treatment and discharge can be streamlined, which benefits both the child, their family and the staff alike.

Much hard work has gone and is going into improving the children’s waiting and examination areas in A&E and children of all ages will benefit from surroundings and activities to suit their age group. It is hoped that this attention to a child’s surroundings in hospital will ease the inevitable anxiety that coming into hospital can bring about.

The PAU is open Monday to Friday 11am to 7pm.