Visiting or Staying in hospital


It is important as a patient and parent to understand what is going to happen when you or your child comes to the Hospital. Be quite clear and honest and tell your child as much as you can about their illness or their need for an operation.

If asked whether the treatment will hurt, be honest but unless asked, don't talk about the degree of pain.


Checking In

Not all children who come to the John Hunter Children's Hospital require surgery; they may come for specialised treatment and will be directed to the relevant Ward upon arrival at the Admissions Office. The admissions office is located in the main John Hunter foyer.

Booking In for a Planned Procedure

If your child's procedure has been "planned", you will have received from your Consultant doctor a Planned Procedure Booklet. When you have finished filling in the forms in the booklet, you can either post the completed booklet or deliver the booklet to the Admissions Office (behind the Information Desk at the main entrance of the John Hunter).

Admissions staff will check the details we have recorded on our Patient Information database, so please let them know if you have changed any of your personal details e.g. next of kin, health fund etc.

Staff on duty will confirm arrangements relating to your child's admission and will let you know what to expect as your child's procedure date approaches.

You will receive confirmation advice by the week before a planned admission. When you receive this advice you must phone the Admissions Clerk and confirm your child's booking. If you don not confirm your booking the admission may not proceed.

What to bring (an Inpatient Admission)
  • Medicare Card
  • Private* health fund / card (if you are a member)
  • Health Record Book (blue book)
  • Regular medications, inhalers etc
  • X-rays, pathology results (if related to this admission)
  • Pyjamas, dressing gown, slippers or sneakers
  • Casual clothes (for when the patient is up and about!)
  • Hairbrush and comb
  • Toiletries such as soap, toothbrush and toothpaste, shampoo, tissues
  • Favourite toy, book, blanket, DVD or pillow
  • Unopened baby formula
  • Outpatient Appointment Card

* Parents or carers of a child eligible for Medicare can choose to have their child treated as either a public or private patient. Please ask at Admissions for a copy of the "Private Patient Information Brochure" that outlines how electing to have your child treated as a private patient will affect you and helps the Hospital.

If you would like your child to be admitted as a private patient please let our Admissions staff know. You will be asked to record your decision on the Inpatient Election Form.

When you sign the Form electing to be treated as a "private patient", we will, on your behalf, send the accounts direct to Medicare and your nominated health fund. This is known as our Simplified Billing System.

Rights and Responsibilities

Staff at the children's hospital are committed to providing the best possible care for your child, or a child in your care, including respecting and maintaining their dignity, safety, cultural needs, developmental needs, rights and values.

We know that families play a vital role in supporting children and young people receiving healthcare and our staff work together with parents and families to achieve this.

We encourage you to ask questions so that you can understand your Rights and Responsibilities. If at any time you have any concerns regarding your child's care, you can, and are encouraged to, discuss your concerns with a member of your child's health care team.

A couple of things to remember when your child is in hospital
  • If you are not the child's biological parents or you do not have "parental responsibility" rights, you need to let us know and advise us who has the authority to consent to medical procedures
  • Just as staff respect the privacy of your family, we ask that you also respect the privacy of other families at the hospital
  • It is also very important that you provide care for your child only. If another child needs assistance, please call a member of the nursing staff to assist them
  • We understand that all families are different - please let us know of any special needs your family has, so that we can try to meet them
Guidelines relevant to all Wards

For the safety of our patients and our staff there are some guidelines that are relevant to ALL wards. These are summarised below.

  • Wash and dry your hands (or use the Aquium antibacterial hand gel provided) before and after attending to your child. Hand wash stations are located outside each of the bedrooms
  • To prevent cross infection, please do not attend to other patients, eg, cuddling, feeding etc. Please alert staff if another patient requires attention
  • To avoid scalds, hot drinks are not permitted on the wards. Please consume all drinks in the Cafeteria, Grab ‘n' Go Café, Café Central in the Royal Newcastle Centre or in the Ronald McDonald Family Room
  • Keep the area around your child's bed/cot neat and tidy. Parent beds should be folded away before breakfast. Similarly, do not place chairs, beds or lockers in front of equipment next to your child's bed. Curtains around the bed/cot are to remain open to allow nursing staff to view your child
  • Children nursed in isolation rooms are not permitted to leave the room until after discharge. Similarly, please ask visitors to consult nursing staff before entering an isolation room. Wash hands (or use the Aquium gel) when leaving an isolation room
  • Single rooms are allocated in accordance with medical priority. There may be times when you are asked to relocate to a shared room
  • Please supervise all visiting children and do not bring other children if they have an infection e.g. coughs, chicken pox or measles
Places to Eat

A number of food services are available on the Hospital campus.

Cosy Kooka's Cafeteria is located on level 1 between ward H1 and J1. Sandwiches, hot food, drinks and snacks are available. The cafeteria is open from 7am - 6.30pm daily. Dining hours are between 11.30am - 1.45pm and 4.30pm - 6.30pm.

Grab and Go Go Café is located on level 2, inside and to the left of the main John Hunter entrance. Sandwiches, drinks, snacks and hot meals are available. Grab and Go Go is open between 7am - 9pm weekdays and 9am - 6.30pm weekends.

Central 1 Food Court and Baratza's Coffee Bar is located in the Royal Newcastle Centre and provides hot meals and gourmet sandwiches. Central 1 operates from 7am - 7.00pm weekends.

Vending machines are available outside Cosy Kooka's Cafeteria and throughout the Hospital.

NB: Please remember that hot drinks are not permitted on the wards.


An ATM machine is located in the foyer at the main John Hunter entrance opposite the Information Desk. Newcastle Permanent also has a branch located in the Royal Newcastle Centre behind Baratza's coffee bar.


Toilets are located on each ward, in the main corridors between wards, opposite Grab and Go Go Café on level 2 and also in the Ronald McDonald Family Room near J1.

Hours of operation

The John Hunter Children's Hospital operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Normal business hours are 8.30am - 5.00pm weekdays.

Contact details

John Hunter Children's Hospital Administration
Ph: (02)49 213670