You will be able to regularly visit and speak to your child while they’re in hospital. Speak to a member of staff about visiting times – there may be an allocated visiting slot each day, or it may work better to call ahead to arrange the times of your visits.
You can also stay in touch with your child by phone. If there are rules around if, when or how much your child can use their own phone, the hospital can provide you with an alternative, such as using a hospital phone or computer at an arranged time.
If it feels helpful, you may want to ask your child whether there are particular things they would like to do with you when you visit, or whether there’s a certain place they would like to sit with you. Your child’s ward will usually have a courtyard or garden where you can go together.
If your child’s doctor thinks they are well enough, you may also be allowed to take your child out of the hospital for a few hours, a day or a few days at a time. If your child is only allowed to leave the hospital for a short amount of time, you might want to think together about nearby places they would like to visit with you, such as a local park or another green space.
If your child has been sectioned, they will need written permission from the doctor in charge of their care to leave the hospital. This is often referred to as ‘section 17 leave’. To keep your child safe, your child’s doctor may decide that they need to be accompanied by a member of staff or are only allowed to go to certain places.