Children's Assessment and Treatment Unit (CAT)
If your child has been seen by your General Practitioner or attends the Emergency Department, and needs to be seen by a Paediatrician (Children’s Medicine Specialist), they will usually come to the Children’s Assessment and Treatment (CAT) Unit.
On the CAT Unit you will need to give your details to the reception staff and your child will then be seen by one of our Paediatric Nurses to have some observations, such as heart rate, oxygen levels and blood pressure taken.
Children and young people are then “triaged” into urgency depending on their observations and the reason that they have attended. Some children will need to be seen more urgently than others, so you may see other families being seen before you. You may be asked to collect a urine specimen or to give a special drink to your child whilst you are waiting to see a doctor.
A Junior Doctor or Medical Student will then introduce themselves and ask you some questions and examine your child. The Junior Doctors may be training to be Paediatricians or may be learning to be General Practitioners or in Foundation training. They will usually make a plan and may start medicines or take blood tests.
Your child will then need to be seen by a Senior Paediatric trainee or a Paediatric Consultant. They may arrange further tests and will decide if your child needs to stay in hospital any longer, or is well enough to go home.
The CAT Unit has side rooms for breast feeding mothers, a teenage room for young people to wait in, as well as a large play area. There is a kitchen on ward L9 where you can get hot drinks and a nearby vending machine for snacks. Children and young people who are waiting to be seen will be offered food at meal time, but we cannot cater for the wider family.
If your child is well enough to leave the CAT Unit you may be offered an electronic buzzer so that we can contact you from within the hospital site when it is your turn to be seen. Please ask if you would like to be considered for one of these devices.