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 18 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.

We have a dedicated parents room in the unit to allow parents to have quiet time away from the ward.  There are no children allowed in this room. Facilities are available for parents to make a hot and cold drink, a fridge to store food and a microwave to heat up any food.

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 Children and Young Persons Area.

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 Children and Young Persons Area is based in the A&E Department and is open 24 hours a day. 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.

This area 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.