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Waiting for your child's appointment or procedure

We are working hard to see patients from our waiting lists as quickly and safely as possible. If your child is currently waiting for an appointment or procedure with us, please be assured that we have the referral and they have not been forgotten. Referrals are regularly reviewed by our medical teams and we will be in touch as soon as we are able to offer you a date and time.

If you would like reassurance, you are welcome to contact our LIAISE team on 0117 342 8065 or by email The team will be able to liaise with the relevant clinic coordinators to ask any questions you have.

If your child's symptoms get worse while you are waiting for an appointment, you should contact your GP who can assess their condition, and if necessary, arrange further tests or seek advice from a specialist. You can also contact NHS 111 for advice. If you believe that your child's symptoms are life threatening, please visit our Emergency Department.

The information on this page is designed to help you understand and manage the wait for your child's appointment. If you have any questions that are not answered, or any suggestions for information that you think would be helpful on this page, please email

How to help your child stay well while you wait

Focussing on your child's health, while waiting for their appointment or treatment, can have a positive impact on their health and wellbeing. There may be some simple steps you can take to maintain their physical and mental health, which could reduce the chance of complications with treatment and speed up recovery after surgery. 

The following webpages offer some helpful advice.

Exercising and healthy living

Healthy eating for young children

Children's mental health and wellbeing support

You can also access specific toolkits, written for children and parents by our Psychology teams, which offer information and support about receiving treatment or coming into hospital including how to manage conversations about what to expect.

Preparing for surgery

If your child is waiting for surgery, you might like to watch our helpful animation called, A Little Deep Sleep, it is designed to help you understand what will happen on the day. If you have further questions or worries about the admission, particularly if your child has additional needs which need to be considered, please let us know by contacting LIAISE on 0117 342 8065 or email, so we can plan any additional preparation once a date has been confirmed.

You may also be interested in our welcome videos, once you know which ward you will be visiting. If your ward doesn't have a video, we can send you some pictures if you would find it helpful. Just let us know.

Waiting for you child's appointment or procedure FAQs

Why are there delays to my child's appointment?
The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic together with the ongoing industrial action has had a significant impact on our hospitals, meaning that some of our patients are waiting longer than we'd like for an appointment, procedure or surgery. We are working hard to reduce our waiting lists, but we continue to face challenges from high levels of demand on our services. Find the latest NHS average waiting times for your appointment or procedure.

How long will I have to wait for my child's appointment?
All patients waiting for a routine operation or treatment are prioritised according to their clinical priority. The most urgent cases will be seen first which means that the waiting list can change regularly. This means we can't be certain how long people will have to wait for non-urgent operations or routine appointments, but in some cases, this may be longer than 12 months. Our clinical teams are constantly reviewing the situation to ensure it remains as safe.

What patient support is available while we wait?
For support and advice while waiting for appointments at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, please call our LIAISE Family Support team on 01173 428065 or email

You can also contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service at both Bristol and Weston General Hospital who provide support and advice for patients. Here's how to get in touch,

To search for organisations, support groups, community groups, events and activities that can help improve health and wellbeing in Bristol and South Gloucestershire, visit the Well Aware website.

What support is available for carers?
When you are a parent carer and your child has additional needs, we recognise this can mean you face challenges in both waiting for and accessing healthcare.

If you have not already done so, complete a hospital passport to help up better understand your child's wider needs, which might not be included in their referral.

Once you have an admission date, contact the LIAISE team, who will ensure that ward have access to your passport and highlight your needs to our Disability Support team. They will help the ward team look at what support can be offered and where reasonable adjustments can be made.

Peer support is also available from the  local parent carer group forum website. If you are struggling to connect with other families in your position, Contact, a national advice and guidance service for children with additional needs, operate a helpline which may be able to provide more information - 0808 808 3555.

If you are a carer for another dependant, or your child is a Young Carer, support and advice is also available. You can contact the UHBW Carers Liaison team by emailing They can offer advice on where to find local support.

What should I do if my child's condition gets worse?
If your child's symptoms get worse while you wait for an appointment, you should contact your GP who can assess their condition, and if necessary, arrange further tests or get advice from a specialist. You can also contact NHS 111 for advice. If you believe that your child's symptoms are life threatening, please visit our Emergency Department.

How do I rearrange or cancel my child's appointment?
Please let us know if you need to change or cancel your appointment by getting in touch using the contact details at the top of your appointment letter. If you cannot find this information, or are unable to get through, please contact LIAISE on 0117 342 8065 or email who will be able to forward the message to the right team on your behalf.


AccessAble guides to our hospitals

University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust has worked with AccessAble to create detailed access guides to facilities, wards, and departments at our hospital sites.

The guides help patients and visitors plan their journeys to and around the hospitals, covering everything from parking facilities and hearing loops, to walking distances and accessible toilets.

We know everyone's accessibility needs are different, which is why having detailed, accurate information is so important. All of the details you'll find in the guide have been checked in person, on site, by trained surveyors.

AccessAble guides to Bristol Royal Hospital for Children

Accessable guides to other hospitals within University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust