Children's Home Leave

Children’s Services Colchester Hospital

Children’s Ward Tel: 01206 746208 or 746209

What is home leave?

Occasionally there are circumstances when children are stable and fit enough to spend time at home with their family but still require medical and nursing treatments which can be provided only on the Children’s Ward. For these children, home leave may be an option.

More Information

Home leave is usually for a few hours at a time and means your child may need to return to hospital on several occasions throughout the day.

The decision that a child can be safely cared for outside the hospital is made by agreement between the child’s named consultant, the nursing staff and yourself.

The final decision, however, lies with the consultant who is responsible for your child’s care. He or she has the knowledge to assess whether your child would be at risk away from hospital.

Children who have recently arrived from another hospital, for example Great Ormond Street Hospital or Addenbrooke’s, will not usually be granted home leave for the first 72 hours, so that staff can become familiar with the child’s condition and assess his or her needs.

Before your child is considered to be suitable for home leave certain conditions have to be met to make sure it would be safe at that stage in your child’s recovery for him or her to be away from the ward:

  • a medical assessment will be carried out by a senior doctor to ensure that your child is medically fit and stable enough to be cared for at home. This may take place during the morning ward round 
  • the times of day when your child must return to the ward for medical reviews, nursing reviews and specific treatments and procedures, must be agreed 
  • you must be able to transport your child to and from hospital safely and quickly, because public transport is not considered appropriate 
  • you will be required to sign a Home Leave Checklist to confirm that you have received the relevant training, information, medicines and equipment needed to care for your child at home.


If you have any questions or concerns about home leave, do not hesitate to speak to a member of staff.

When you attend hospital with your child, you will be asked to confirm his or her first and last names, date of birth, postcode and NHS number if you know it, and to let us know if he or she has any allergies.

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