University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust
Southampton Children's Hospital

Life on the ward

Our children’s wards are shared with other youngsters and their families. There are some single rooms but these are allocated depending on children’s clinical care needs.

Daily ward activities

Activities and routines differ on each ward, so please ask your child’s nurse if you have any questions.

Help with school work while in hospital

There is a team of qualified local education authority teachers available to support your child with their school work while they are in hospital. Our teachers offer a relaxed classroom environment for all ages as well as bedside teaching for anyone who cannot be moved.

A child can be referred to attend the school if their predicted stay in hospital is more than one day, or if they have to be readmitted.

To find out more, please ask to speak to one of the hospital teachers.

Staying with your child

Parents are always welcome to spend as much time as possible with their child and can be involved with their care. You may also stay with your child during most medical treatments.

Leaving the ward

If you wish to take your child away from the ward, please check with the nursing staff that he or she is well enough to leave. Our staff need to know where you will be going and for how long.

Children’s meals

Mealtimes for the children vary on each ward, so please check with the nursing staff. Let the nursing staff know if your child has any special dietary needs. If your child is required to fast, our staff will inform you. Do not offer food or drink to other children, as they may have special dietary needs or be fasting.

Parent meals

Breastfeeding mothers of infants under one month of age may have meals provided during their child’s stay. Please ask the nurse looking after your child.

If you are staying with your child, you can obtain subsidised meals at the Spice of Life restaurant. Please ask your nurse for further details.


Televisions are provided in all our ward areas and we ask that families do not bring in portable televisions. DVDs for children are available on most wards.

Free wifi for patients and visitors

Funded by Southampton Hospital Charity, we are now able to offer free to use wifi for our patients and visitors to do the normal things online as they would at home. This includes the ability to stream audio and video, access online banking and keep in touch with loved ones via social media and messaging apps.

To connect:

  • Go to your wifi settings
  • Select 'NHSwifi'
  • Sign in or register to The Cloud


Most wards have a playroom, which can provide a welcome distraction for patients. The playrooms are supported by our play specialists and volunteers.

Radio Lollipop

Our volunteer-run radio station, Radio Lollipop, broadcasts to our children’s wards 24 hours a day, with live broadcasts on several nights of the week.

Children can take part in themed play sessions and quizzes with volunteers on the wards, request their favourite songs or just listen along. There are also opportunities to visit the studio to help with broadcasts, play with toys or use a computer.