On the Ward

Your child will be cared for by a team including doctors, nurses and play specialists. All staff wear name badges and will introduce themselves to you. Please also refer to our staff photo boards to help familiarise yourself with staff members. 

If you have any special needs or cultural requirements, please tell a member of staff who will be happy to help you. The hospital has an interpreter service which can help if you or your partner have any difficulty in speaking English. If you or your partner is deaf then we can contact an interpreter to help us communicate.

Ward Routine

Handover from night staff to day staff

7.45 - 8.15 am

Breakfast is served after the handover


Ward rounds with consultants and/or other senior medical staff

9 am or earlier

Play activities commence

8.30 am

Hospital School


Meal times

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Supper

Should your child require a special diet, every effort will be made to provide this.


7.45 - 8.15 am

12 midday

5 pm

8 pm

Handover from day staff to night staff. Allocation of sleeping accommodation for parents staying overnight.


Play activities

Each ward has its own play specialist who provides games and activities on the ward. The play specialist is also available to assist with distraction and emotional support during clinical procedures.


School is available during term time. Each ward has its own school teacher. Children will be provided with school work and activities at the bed side or will be encouraged to go to the school room when well enough. 

Health and Safety

The safety of your child is our primary concern

  • Children are not permitted in the ward kitchen at any time.
  • Please keep the area around your child’s bed as tidy as possible. Please use the locker provided for storing your child’s belongings.

Supervision of other children by parent/carer

We realize that the children enjoy seeing their brothers and sisters. However, parents/carers are responsible for the safety of their children who are visiting. Please ensure that you know where all of your children are while in hospital and that young children who are visiting do not disturb patients who are ill.

Security issues

Parents and visitors must enter and leave the hospital through the front entrance. No other entrances or exits are permitted to be used. The front doors are closed between 9.30pmand 7am - at these times the hospital can be accessed via the A&E doors.

Children must not leave the ward unaccompanied. Young people may leave the ward with an adult.

Please tell a member of nursing staff when you are leaving your child on his or her own and do not take your child out of the ward unless a member of nursing staff gives permission and is aware of where you intend to go. Failure to inform staff when you take your child from the ward may result in a security alert.

Teaching & Research


The Children’s hospital is a leading teaching hospital and students from all medical and health professions visit the wards regularly. They work under the direction of qualified members of staff and your co-operation in helping them is appreciated. If you are unhappy with the involvement of students in any aspect of your child’s care please tell a member of staff.


Research to improve patient care is an integral and important part of the work of the Belfast Trust.  However no clinical research is carried out without the appropriate consent given.

The Research Office is responsible for managing all research which involves patients or staff across the Belfast Trust.  This includes trials of new medicines or devices, studies which try to understand the biology of disease, and studies which aim to understand and improve patient experience of care within the Trust.  All research in the Trust is reviewed and approved by an independent research ethics committee, and is conducted in line with national guidelines from regulatory bodies.


Please remember that information about other children and their illnesses is private. Please do not ask a member of staff for information about another child. All staff regard patient information as confidential.

Information about your child is only given to you as the child’s parents or guardians. You can make enquiries at any time via the direct phone number of your child’s ward.

Nursing staff will not provide information about your child to your relatives and friends. Please ensure your relatives and friends are aware of this as staff’s refusal to give information might cause offence.

Delays, Emergencies and Transfers

It is impossible to accurately predict the pattern of workload upon staff in a major hospital with facilities spread over several acres. Delays in transport, tests and other services may be inevitable on occasion, and we would appreciate your patience as we work to provide services as quickly as possible.


Occasionally fire alarm bells will sound during the course of testing or as the result of sensitive smoke detection equipment. In the event of an emergency staff will advise you immediately if any action is necessary.  Please keep calm and follow their instructions. 


During your stay, your child may be required to transfer to another ward.  This can be for a variety of reasons including:

  • An improvement in your child’s condition
  • Another Consultant may be taking over your child’s care
  • To facilitate the admission of an acutely ill patient