Children’s Assessment Unit (CAU)

Children's Assessment Unit (CAU) - Children's Services

To contact the ward


Tel: 01603 286286

Who is seen in CAU?

Children from birth to their sixteenth birthday referred by local GPs, Out of Hours centres, A&E and in some situations midwives and health visitors are seen on CAU. Some children with serious and or chronic conditions have Open Access to the unit, when they have been authorised by their consultants.

Useful information

What to bring

There may not be much time to consider what to bring with you if your child is sick, but it is important to bring their medicines and inhalers if at all possible. For younger children their favourite toy or comforter would be helpful.

Waiting times

Generally we see children in order of arrival, if however their condition warrants more immediate attention they may be seen out of order. We try our best to ensure that your child is seen by a nurse within 15 minutes and a doctor within an hour of arrival. However there might be times when this is not possible. Our experienced children’s nurses will often be able to initiate appropriate treatment before the doctor sees you.

What happens next?

After being seen by the nurse and doctor you may be given some medicine, and you may have an x-ray or blood tests. We might want to keep you here for a few hours to see if your condition improves; where possible we aim to get children home (about 60% of attendants).

All children admitted to CAU should have a parent with them at all times. Parents must take responsibility for any other children present, and during busy times the nurse in charge might restrict the number of relatives.

When your child is discharged from CAU, the doctor and nurse should have explained to you about your child’s condition, any medications to be given at home, signs to look out for etc. We may offer ‘open access’; this is like a safety net in case your child doesn’t continue to improve and need to come back over a specified time – but we do ask that you phone first, you will be given our number. Sometimes follow up is arranged for your child to come to an outpatient clinic.

If you need to stay in hospital for treatment or observation overnight you will be transferred to Buxton Ward until you are better and ready to go home.

At all times please feel free to ask a professional if you do not feel things have not been explained properly or if you have any questions regarding any of the above.

Telephone advice

We only offer advice over the phone to families who currently have short or long-term open access. Other members of the public should call NHS 111 if seeking medical advice over the telephone.

To contact the ward

Tel: 01603 286286

How to find CAU

The CAU is located just inside the Jenny Lind Children’s Hospital entrance on Level 2 in the West Block.  Please follow the signs to Jenny Lind Children’s Hospital.

The nearest car park is B, if however, due to your child’s condition, you need to park nearer just for dropping off, you can do so just outside the doors but must move your car as soon as possible to car park B to allow easy access for ambulances.

If the car park is full, spaces may be available in the public car park opposite A&E, which is operated independently.

See a map of the hospital and car parks.

See details of how to get to the hospital by car.

For details about how to find us, how to get here and information about accessibility (including images), please click on the icon below: