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Emergency Assessment

The PEAPOD (Paediatric Emergency Assessment Pod) is situated within the Emergency Care Centre (ECC) and comprises of a children’s waiting area, facilities for emergency assessment and short stay, it is staffed by paediatric trained nurses and doctors.  

Children register at the reception desk, they are then seen and triaged by a paediatric nurse (between 02:00 and 08:00 this is performed by the adult triage nurse). The triage nurse will decide who is the most appropriate professional to see your child.

  • Minor Injury- Nurse Practitioners
  • Minor Illness- Nurse Practitioners/GP 
  • Emergency Medicine- A&E medical Staff
  • Paediatrics- Paediatric Medical Staff

Once triaged children are transferred to the waiting area within the PEAPOD (although older children are given the option to wait in the main waiting area if they wish to). Once in the PEAPOD one of the children’s nurses will reassess your child, answer any questions you may have and keep you informed of waiting times and delays. 

Your child may require a period of observation or investigations; this may necessitate transfer to the Children’s Short Stay Assessment Unit (CSSAU). If this is necessary, you and your child will be allocated a room within the PEAPOD. Every room has the facilities for a parent or carer to stay with their child.

Critically ill children can be treated immediately at the QE Gateshead but sometimes it may be necessary to transfer children to the GNCH (Great North Children’s Hospital) in Newcastle. There is a specialist retrieval team to transfer children to the children’s intensive care unit there if necessary.

If your child requires admission for a period of more than 24 hours you will be transferred to an inpatient unit. Children are most commonly sent to the Great North Children’s Hospital or City Hospitals Sunderland. You may be transferred by ambulance or hospital transport depending upon clinical indications. Wherever possible one parent is able to travel in the ambulance. In the event you cannot travel in the ambulance alternative transport will be arranged as necessary.

We work closely with the children’s community nursing team, who can provide support to allow certain children to be looked after at home.

We encourage feedback about your visit to the ECC, Children’s Outpatients and Day Unit comments cards are freely available in the areas. 

"We couldn't believe what a great facility it is, with security on the door and then dedicated treatment rooms, we feel so lucky to have this type of facility on our doorstep."

Call us on 0191 482 0000

In emergencies dial 999 / Non-emergencies dial 111

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