Changes to visiting arrangements and a number of services are in place. For more details visit our Coronavirus page
COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called coronavirus. Information about Coronavirus changes often, but you can check the GOV.UK website for up to the minute advice.
We understand that you might be worried about coronavirus – also known as COVID-19 – particularly if your child has a long-term health condition. If you are worried your child is unwell and need help first go online to 111.nhs.uk/covid-19 and follow the guidance from here.
In particular you should use the 111 online or telephone service if:
- you are not sure if you should stay at home or not
- you feel you cannot cope with your child’s symptoms at home
- your child’s condition gets worse
- your child’s symptoms do not get better after seven days
In an emergency call 999.
Most children can stay at home if they have mild coronavirus symptoms
Stay at home if you have either:
- a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
- a new, continuous cough – this means you've started coughing repeatedly
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
You do not need to contact 111 simply to tell them you're staying at home.
Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you're staying at home.
Personal protective equipment (PPE) and the super green pathway for day case surgery
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, there are some changes to be aware of to help keep our patients safe.
We are now using a ‘super green pathway’ for day surgery patients. This is to minimise the potential spread of coronavirus and keep our patients as safe as possible. The super green pathway keeps planned surgical patients separate to patients attending the Children’s ward. This means that some children and young people undergoing planned day case surgery will be cared for on Gilwern ward, though most children will be admitted to the Children’s ward on level 2 at Hereford County Hospital.
- Only one parent can accompany the child to the ward and no visitors please.
- Unfortunately, the playrooms are temporarily closed. However, a member from the play team can provide single use play resources and you are still welcome to bring an item from home.
- Staff will be wearing various types of personal protective equipment (PPE) this includes an apron, face mask, gloves and sometimes a face shield.
- Please follow the link to see a short film created by the Young Persons Advisory Group at Birmingham Hospital, explaining PPE to young patients. The purpose of the film is to reduce any worries that you may have regarding PPE that the staff will need to wear, and prepare patients before their admission to hospital. Click here to view the PPE video.
Q: My child has a long-term health condition, what should I do?
Children with long-term health conditions do not tend to develop severe symptoms from the coronavirus, unlike in adults. Carers and parents of children with long-term health conditions will find valuable information on the WellChild website. If your child is well known to the hospital and has a Hereford Open Access passport then you can contact the hospital in accordance with the instructions in you open access passport.
Q: My child has an upcoming outpatient appointment, should I come to hospital or not?
In the current situation, we are working hard to ensure we are able to deliver care to those patients who most need our help. Some children may have appointments deferred to later in the year or a telephone clinic arranged to replace the hospital visit. If there is a change to your appointment or admission, you will be contacted directly.
Q: I have been told to come to hospital – what should I do
The hospital may be very busy over the coming months so visit the hospital if you are advised to by 111 or in a real emergency by calling 999. If you are coming to the hospital, we ask only one carer accompanies each child because we are strictly limiting the numbers of people on the children’s ward by limiting the numbers of carers and visitors to the ward we can better to protect children, staff and carers alike. Unfortunately siblings will not be able to visit.
About the Children's Ward
The Paediatric department (Children's ward) provides inpatient and outpatient treatment of medical and surgical conditions, in children from birth up to the seventeenth birthday.
The Children's ward deals with medical conditions and also provides facilities for many surgical specialties. The majority of children needing surgery can be treated in Hereford, however surgery in young children (generally under two years of age) and specialist surgery is referred to a specialist Children’s hospital, usually Birmingham.
Both the medical and surgical specialties at The County Hospital have good links with Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Several Consultants from Birmingham also run clinics in Hereford which saves the family travelling to Birmingham, and gives us the chance to meet the colleagues who treat our patients and discuss any important issues.
The Paediatric Outpatient department carries out general clinics and specialist clinics for various conditions such as diabetes, respiratory medicine and epilepsy. The Paediatricians also hold clinics in some of the market towns including Llandrindod, Ledbury and Ross.
For the more specialist treatments, some children are referred to Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
Outline of the Department
There are 16 inpatient beds. We offer specific paediatric nurse trained care along with a dietician, physiotherapist and play specialist. We have specific adolescent facilities including a pool table, computers and Game Boys, along with an arts and therapy room for smaller children.
Links with other Departments
Because the Children's Ward deals with a wide range of conditions, we have links with most other departments, particularly Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU), Theatres, A&E, Eign Suite and Birmingham Children's Hospital. We carry out outpatient services on site for some specialties i.e. Rheumatology, Cardiac Care, and Genetics.
We also work closely with the Community Child Health Department and Community Children's Nurses.
Young ambassadors help to improve hospital services
A group of primarily school aged children from Herefordshire have been invited to voice their views to help improve hospital services for young people in the county. To find out more or if you would like to become an ambassador click here.
We currently have 12 hospital-based Consultant Paediatricians and offer general and specialist paediatric clinics in hospital and general outreach clinics in Herefordshire and in Wales. These specialist services are listed against the Consultants in the contacts. The Community Paediatric team is based in the Child Development Centre (CDC) and delivers community outreach clinics within the county, and works with our paediatric physiotherapy and occupational therapy teams based at the Benet Building, Belmont.
Childrens Ward Mural
Pre-operative assessment short film
Before you watch this short film, please read the information above regarding Personal Protection Equipment for staff at the hospital and super green pathway access to our hospital for patients.
The play team has created a short preparation film for children and young people undergoing general anaesthetic at Hereford County Hospital. The film follows the journey of character Sam and his mum at the hospital as Sam is going to have an operation. The film shows the steps involved for day case surgery including arrival at the ward, having observations, having a general anaesthetic and recovery before going home.
The reason the play team decided to make this short film is because we wanted to create something that could be viewed by children and young people at home with their families or carers in preparation of coming to the children’s ward for an operation.
This is something that can viewed again and again if necessary and will hopefully help patients to understand the processes of having a general anaesthetic and what to expect during a typical day surgery admission.
At the beginning of this project we pitched the idea to the children’s ward young ambassador group as we wanted to use their ideas and vision for the film.
The young ambassadors did a fantastic job and we are really pleased with the outcome. We really hope this helps the children and young people of Herefordshire to feel prepared and educated about their upcoming operation.
We appreciate that coming into hospital can be a difficult time for children and their families. The video below is aimed at preparing children for their visit to our hospital. We hope that they will have a better idea of what to expect when visiting or attending our children’s ward. And the film stars some of our lovely patients: Alesha, Imogen, Chloe and Misha. The film was produced by Hereford College Students Ben Harrison, Alex Wilson, George Weston, and Tom Pullen.
Special Care Baby Unit lead
Dr Lesley Peers
General Paediatrics, Safeguarding
Dr Manju Sanjeevaiah
General Paediatrics, Respiratory, allergy
Dr Cathy Seagrave
General Paediatrics, Neonatalogy
Dr Hemanth Balehithlu
General Paediatrics, Diabetes, Adolescence & Transition
Dr Michelle Slater
General Paediatrics, Respiratory, Allergy, College Tutor
Dr Iain Darwood
Allergy, Respiratory and General Paediatrics
Dr Shambhu Shah
General paediatrics, Neurodisability, Epilepsy
Dr Simon Meyrick
Haematology and Oncology
Dr Pavel Krtil
Dr Jayne Clarke
Dr Julie Vickers
General paediatrics, Rheumatology and Adolescent Medicine
Dr Shital Malik
General paediatrics, Diabetes, Growth and Endocrinology
Dr Anna Kotas
* Please note there can be a delay at times due to nursing staff working with patients.