For patients
& visitors

Paediatric Assessment Unit (PAU)

General paediatrics

Ward details

The Paediatric Assessment Unit (PAU) is an acute medical assessment unit that caters typically from birth to 16 years, it is co-located within Neptune Paediatric Ward.  There is a six bedded bay, an isolation room, a PAU treatment room and a PAU waiting room. 

Within PAU children are assessed and receive treatment before either being discharged home or admitted to paediatric in-patient facilities. 

Children will be directly referred to PAU by their GP, A&E, a Paediatric Community nurse or their Midwife.  We only accept those that have been formally referred as we are not a drop-in facility. Patients will be triaged before being reviewed by the experienced Paediatric medical team. Patients may be asked to remain in a waiting room. Although we see patients in order of attendance time, a more acutely unwell child will be given priority.

Patients may be asked to attend PAU for a booked blood test or a review. Please note that although you are given a time to attend this is not set in stone and the treatment of an acutely unwell child will take obvious precedence.  It is always worthwhile bringing some refreshments and books/activities.

Neptune Ward itself has a play room, an adolescent room and a parent's room.

We aim for a minimum of two and a maximum of four members of experienced nursing staff during the day.  At least one member of staff each shift is certified in European Paediatric Life Support.  The nursing skill mix ranges from Ward Sisters to HCAs.  Working alongside the nursing staff we are lucky to have a team of Play Specialists that are invaluable in helping both patients and parents through procedures.  Neptune nurses staff the PAU overnight, typically from 22:00/24:00 to 09:00am.

Neptune has both a Clinical Facilitator and Clinical Nurse Specialist.  The Clinical Facilitator assists in teaching and supporting staff especially when there are high dependency patients on the ward or in need of transfer to a specialist centre.  The Clinical Nurse Specialist performs specialised diagnostic tests and treatment within her own caseload.  The CNS will see much of her workload within the PAU environment with assistance provided by PAU staff where required.

There is an on-going commitment to enhancing practice and the ward echoes the Trust's commitment to the training and development of all staff.

Total number of beds - 7.


Estelle Ingram

Ward telephone number

01702 435555 ext. 6949


1st Floor Cardigan Building (colocated within Neptune ward)


General paediatrics

Business unit

Women's and children's

Visiting and other instructions

Emergency Referral Unit so visiting times not applicable.

Two Carers/Legal Guardians only.

Due to the nature/space confinements of PAU it is not recommended that siblings attend and alternative childcare arrangements are made where possible.

Refreshments may be purchased in either the Hospital canteen during opening times or the 24 hour COSTA coffee facility.

Please bring in any medications or special dietary supplements where applicable/possible at point of referral.

The parent's room has a fridge, microwave and tea/ coffee making facilities. Hot drinks are only permitted on the PAU if in a lidded cup and all food bought in must be in date and clearly named.

Please discuss any extenuating circumstances with the nurse in charge.

As a patient on this ward, you may be under the care of one or more of these consultants

Dr Awadalla

Dr Chetan

Dr Emcy

Dr Khan

Dr Margarson

Dr Rachakonda

Dr Rahman

Dr Ranasinghe

Dr Shrivastava

Specialist teams  who care for patients on this ward

Paediatric community nursing team

Health visitors

Postal address

Paediatric Assessment Unit (PAU)
Southend Hospital
Prittlewell Chase
Westcliff on Sea