Services your hospital should provide

The National minimum standards for providers of independent healthcare (Department of Health, London 2002) are the standards that hospitals should adhere to when your child with a primary immunodeficiency is in hospital. They cover outpatient visits, visiting your child, provision of food and your child’s education in hospital.

  • Children should be seen in a separate outpatient area, or where the hospital does not have a separate outpatient area for children, they are seen promptly.
  • There are segregated areas for the reception of children and adolescents into theatre and for recovery, to screen the children and adolescents from the adults.
  • The segregated areas should contain all the necessary equipment for the care of children.
  • All hospital settings should meet the Standards for the care of critically ill children (Paediatric Intensive Care Society, London 2010).
  • There are written procedures for the assessment of pain in children and the provision of appropriate control.


  • A parent is to be actively encouraged to stay at all times, with accommodation made available for the adult in the child’s room or close by.
  • The child’s family is allowed to visit him/her at any time of the day, except where safeguarding procedures do not allow this.

Education and play:

  • When a child is in hospital for more than five days, play is managed and supervised by a qualified hospital play specialist.
  • Children are required to receive education when in hospital for more than five days; the local authority has an obligation to meet this need and is contacted if necessary.

Nutrition and feeding whilst in hospital:

There should be age-specific arrangements for meeting regulation 14 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008. These require:

  • a choice of suitable and nutritious food and hydration, in sufficient quantities to meet service users’ needs
  • food and hydration that meet any reasonable requirements arising from a service user’s religious or cultural background; food and hydration includes, where applicable, parental nutrition and the administration of dietary supplements where prescribed
  • support, where necessary, for the purposes of enabling patients to eat and drink sufficient amounts for their needs
  • that providers must have access to facilities for infant feeding, including facilities to support breastfeeding.