Mercury Ward (CW)

Mercury Ward

Mercury Ward is a 24-bed unit taking both emergency and elective admissions. We care for children and their families ranging from two days old to 16 years of age.

We specialise in gastrointestinal disorders and complex children’s surgery.

We have a large team of nurses, doctors and specialist professionals committed to working with your child and we involve the family as much as possible to cater for all needs.

Nursing and support workers

Mercury Ward has a team of nursing staff and healthcare assistants who will look after your child, led by the ward sister. Day shifts are 8am–8.30pm and night shifts are 8pm–8.30am. You will also meet play specialists, domestic staff and administrative staff.


Your child’s care will be led by a consultant who has a team of doctors working with them. You will be seen by a consultant within 24 hours of your child’s admission and reviewed by the team on ward rounds daily, approximately from 9am–12 pm. Other specialities, such as surgeons, orthopaedic doctors and physiotherapy teams may visit at different times.

Visiting times

Visiting times are 8am–8pm. However, parents may remain on the ward after this time. We have limited space and in order to remain respectful of other patients we can only have two visitors per bedside at a time.

If you require a side room, this will be for a medical reason and visiting may need to be restricted.

Staying overnight

We recognise the importance of family-centred care and strive to achieve a safe and comforting environment for your child. We therefore welcome one parent/guardian to stay alongside your child overnight and, when possible, we will provide a camp bed. We do ask that these are folded away in the morning by 10am in order to keep a clean and tidy bed space.

Overnight we would like children to have as good a night’s sleep as possible to aid their recovery—we will keep noise to a minimum, but sometimes monitoring and machinery is necessary. Bedside lamps will need to remain on in order to ensure your child can be assessed at all times to maintain their safety.

Parents’ room

Please use this room as a children-free zone where you can help yourself to hot drinks and a bit of space. You are welcome to bring in your own food items or home cooking and use our fridge and microwave. We ask that the area remains as clean and tidy as when you found it so it is ready for the next parent. Please label all food in the fridge with your child’s name and the date, as our cleaning team are vigilant in maintaining a safe food environment—therefore, any unlabelled items will be discarded.


Breakfast is served from a trolley outside the kitchen. Your child can help them self to toast and cereal. Their nurse will be able to help if needed.

Lunch and supper is chosen from a menu that will be brought round to you each morning so your child can make their own selection.

  • Breakfast: 07:30–9am
  • Lunch: 12 noon–1pm
  • Dinner: 5–6pm

Water jugs are filled and refreshed twice a day. There is also a water fountain and squash available on the ward.


We have a playroom which is open from 9am. It is a safe area for children to explore, play and sit at the table for meals with others, if they would like. We also have play specialists who are trained members of the team and can provide distraction techniques during procedures, as well as play sessions one-to-one with your child.


If well enough, we expect all young children and adolescents to attend the hospital school, which is on the 1st Floor. If your child cannot attend the school, teachers can bring work to the bedside.

If your child is here for a while, the school will liaise with his/her own school for work to be brought in.

Please note that we inform school nurses of all admissions to hospital.

School times are Monday to Friday 10am–12pm and 1.30–3.30pm.


The television service is available free of charge from 7am–7pm. After this time you are able to purchase a TV card from main reception for further viewing.

Please use the provided headphones from 7pm.


If your child requires any medication for at home your doctor will prescribe it and the pharmacy team will arrange for it to arrive on Mercury ward. At times this process can take a few hours to safely arrange, therefore please be patient and bear in mind your nurse will be following up on progress on your behalf.

Car parking

We provide reduced car parking rates for parents of children who are inpatients—£10 for 24 hours.  Please ask your nurse for a voucher which you can hand in at main reception with your car park ticket when you leave.


We welcome all feedback and encourage you to complete the children’s survey, which is available from the front desk.

You could also give your feedback verbally to either your nurse directly or the nurse in charge.


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