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The Children’s Assessment and Treatment Unit at Leeds Children’s Hospital is a busy 24-hour unit that sees around 100 patients every day. The unit assesses children aged up to 16 who are acutely unwell after being referred by their GP or the emergency department. Patients may stay on the unit for up 48 hours before they are either discharged home or admitted to an inpatient ward. The unit has 22 beds for young patients but there is a severe shortage of chair beds for parents. This means that parents, who must always accompany their children, have no place to sleep or rest while their child is on the unit.

Parents experience substantial stress while their child is receiving care on the unit. There is the anxiety and uncertainty of not knowing how ill their child is, if they will need inpatient care, and how any hospital stay will impact on other areas of life. It is extremely important that parents are able to adequately rest so their ability to support their child is not compromised.

The unit needs four chair beds and six compact manual recliners. The chair bed can be quickly transformed from a chair into a bed and is ideal for families who are likely to remain on the unit for more than 24 hours. The recliner is more suitable for resting comfortably in tighter spaces. Both types are designed to withstand continuous use and comply with infection control guidelines. It is estimated that they will last at least five years and will be used extensively on a daily basis, benefiting a minimum of 20,000 people in this period.

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“The new beds for parents have had such a positive impact on the wellbeing of our children knowing their parent or carer is close by. But also for the parent being able to sleep comfortably next to their child has made such a difference to how they have responded to staff during difficult times on the ward. The difference a good night’s sleep makes is priceless.”

Vicki Healey
Children’s Ward Manager
North Manchester General Hospital

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