Emergency Department, The Children's Hospital at Westmead

Contact

Location: the intersection of Hawkesbury Road and Helen Street, Westmead.

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About our service

The Emergency Department provides urgent and emergency care to newborns through to adolescents from across NSW and beyond.

Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week; the Emergency Department has a team of expert healthcare professionals who care for children suffering from serious injury or illness.

The best place for your child’s regular care is with their GP, paediatrician or other health care provider. If your child is experiencing general health complaints such as a cough or sore throat or needs to receive a general health check-up, we encourage you to see your local health care provider closer to home.

If you think your child’s condition is immediately urgent, please call 000 for an ambulance.

Visit NSW Health's Emergency Department website to find your local Emergency Department.

Important information

Deciding when to come to Emergency

You know your child best

You know when your child is getting sick by changes in their mood, behaviour, activity and appetite.

If your child is only mildly unwell, think about waiting to see if the illness worsens before seeing a doctor.  

If you are worried about your child, you should take them to a doctor. Your local doctor is the first doctor to contact.

Your local Emergency Department is always available if your child needs urgent care.

Seriously ill children can:

  • become unwell quickly
  • have difficulty breathing
  • be pale in the face
  • be blue around the lips
  • be unusually inactive or sleepy
  • have a rash that does not fade or go away when pressed
  • have fits or convulsions

Please get help quickly if these symptoms develop rapidly, occur together, or if your child is very young.

Directions to the Emergency Department

Arriving at the Emergency Department

The Emergency Department is located at the intersection of Hawkesbury Road and Helen Street, Westmead.

It is approximately 200 metres from the main hospital entrance.

You can access our ED via corridors from the main hospital (approximately a 200 metre walk).

When you arrive:

  • Come to the front desk, where a clerk and the triage nurse will see you.
  • The clerk will need to take a record of your child’s details.
  • The triage nurse will ask for information on your child’s injury or illness and do a simple assessment.

Based on your child’s symptoms, medical history and condition, the triage nurse will decide how urgently your child needs to be seen by a healthcare professional. 

Where to park

Parking is available at the main entrance of our new hospital building on Hawkesbury Road, Entrance 10, street level. Look for 'Westmead Health Precinct' on the side of the building.

Drop-off zone

There is a 15-minute drop-off and pick-up zone outside the Children’s Emergency Department entrance.

There is also a dedicated drop-off and pick-up zone for patients with mobility access and who have Mobility Parking Scheme permits in the same location.

Paid parking

Car parking is available underneath the new hospital building in P5, enter via the main entry plaza and take the ramp down.

Free parking

Most nearby street parking is limited to 2 hours

  • Westmead - Hawkesbury Rd, Caroline St, Helen St, Jessie St and Hainsworth Street.
  • Northmead - Redbank Rd, Beamish Rd, Brelogail, Bevan and Balfour Streets.
  • Parramatta Park - parking bays located in Parramatta Park (entry via bottom end of Hainsworth Street).

 

In the waiting room

The most seriously ill and critically injured children will always be seen first.

Even when the waiting room isn’t full, we may be busy caring for children requiring lifesaving and critical care.

Sometimes children who arrive after you are seen before you. This may include children with minor illnesses and injuries treated in a separate emergency department area.

Our team works hard to help everyone as quickly as possible. Waiting can be stressful and frustrating, and we appreciate your patience and understanding.

While you are waiting, we will care for your child. For some children, we will be able to start treatment. This may include having an x-ray, giving fluids, collecting urine samples, or treating pain.

If you are worried your child is getting sicker or is experiencing more pain while waiting, please tell us.

Please tell us if you decide to go home before seeing a doctor. We want to check to make sure your child is well enough to go. We may be able to offer advice.
Please ask if you need more information or if we haven’t explained this clearly. It’s always ok to talk to one of our team.

In the assessment area

When your child’s name is called, you will be taken to an assessment area to be seen by one of the Emergency Department staff.

We will ask for information about your child’s symptoms and medical history.

We may need to:

  • arrange some tests for your child, such as a blood test or x-ray
  • monitor or watch your child for some time.
  • ask specialist doctors and nurses from other areas of the Hospital to come to see your child.

Specialists from other areas of the Hospital may also come to the ED to see your child.

If your child requires observation, we have special wards you and your child may be moved to.

Support while in the Emergency Department

Support is available to all children and families during their stay.

Play Therapists

Play therapists help ease the fear experienced by some patients, through the use of play and distraction techniques. They also greatly assist in educating children about the Hospital, procedures and tests.

Volunteers

Our volunteers generously give their time to supporting patients and families by playing with children or helping parents and carers find nearby services.

Social Workers

Social workers are available to support families in distress or whose children are experiencing a life-threatening medical emergency.

Interpreters

If you need an interpreter, our staff can contact one for you. If English is not your first language, and you need the help of an interpreter, please do not hesitate to ask the ED team.

Staying in hospital

Depending on their injury or illness, some children need to stay in the Hospital for overnight care.

Sometimes we can organise for your child to be moved to your local hospital so that you can be closer to home.

Before you go home

Please tell us if you are worried that your child is not well enough to leave.

Before you leave, please be sure that you understand:

  • your child’s diagnosis
  • what you should expect to happen at home
  • how to manage your child’s illness or injury at home
  • medications or other treatments that your child needs
  • where to go if you need more care.

We want to be sure that we have helped you and your child.

Keeping everyone safe

Emergency is monitored by 24 hour video surveillance.

The cameras keep our staff, patients and families safe and are used to monitor suspicious and aggressive behaviour.

The Hospital Security team has direct visual link to the department and are able to respond quickly.

All footage is automatically deleted after 30 days.

Criteria Led Discharge

What is Criteria Led Discharge?

Criteria Led Discharge is a process that makes sure your child’s discharge from the Emergency Department (ED) is not delayed and occurs as soon as they are medically ready. 

Criteria Led Discharge has many benefits including:

  • Your child spending less time in the ED because decisions about their discharge are made earlier in their stay
  • Clearly outlining what is required of your child and their healthcare team during their stay 

Your doctor will explain the Criteria Led Discharge process to you.

See the Criteria Led Dishcharge information sheet

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Last updated Wednesday 10th July 2024

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