Paediatric assessment unit

Many of the common childhood illnesses and conditions that children suffer from can be diagnosed and treated with ease at our paediatric assessment units (PAU). We can treat, or advise about any relevant (but usually minor and common) childhood illnesses.

The PAU sees children and young people up to the age of 16 years presenting with minor illness/injuries such as:

  • unexplained feverish illness
  • diarrhoea and vomiting
  • troublesome cough, croup, wheezing and breathlessness, including mild asthma
  • sore throat or earache
  • rashes and skin problems
  • accidental ingestion
  • feeding difficulties, an unsettled baby or nappy rash
  • tummy pains and constipation
  • reviewing a course of treatment started on the ward
  • assessing a child to decide if they need admission to hospital
  • minor head injuries
  • suspected fractures/breaks
  • lacerations (but not if there has been severe blood loss)
  • minor burns

All children are assessed by a paediatric trained nurse. Children and young people are then appropriately streamed to see the GP, nurse practitioners, paediatric consultant or the appropriate specialty, which may include transfer to another healthcare facility.

The PAU accepts direct referrals from the urgent care centre, GPs and other health professionals, and allows children to be in a safe, child friendly environment, providing holistic care for child and family. The PAU also allows for periods of observation, to prevent hospital admissions, and offers children and parents' health education prior to discharge.

Opening hours

The PAU at Chase Farm Hospital is open from 9am-9pm, seven days a week. From Monday to Friday there is a paediatric consultant available from 9am-5pm. Nursing staff comprises of four senior paediatric sisters and two paediatric staff nurses. The PAU is nurse-led from 5pm-9pm and at weekends.

Serious medical emergencies need urgent help: call 999 or go to A&E

If your child is experiencing a serious medical emergency that poses an immediate threat to their health or life, you need urgent help. 

Please call 999 or go straight to one of our children’s A&E departments.

Emergency medical conditions include:

  • breathlessness where your child is working very hard with their breathing
  • diarrhoea and vomiting where your child is drowsy and unable to drink
  • your child is unresponsive
  • your child is having a fit
  • severe allergic reactions
  • severe blood loss
  • your child becomes blue
  • your child develops a rash that does not disappear with pressure.