Principle 10: Accommodation, facilities and equipment

Principle 10: Accommodation, facilities and equipment

Accommodation, facilities and equipment should meet the needs of children and young people. Facilities and equipment should be designed, provided and maintained to ensure children and young people’s safety and emotional wellbeing. Accommodation for children and young people should be separate from that provided for adults.

Introduction

The following is one of a group of principles which recognise the particular needs of children and young people receiving health and disability support services. The principles describe what should be provided when your child or young person receives those services. They are based on expert opinion and a considerable body of literature in New Zealand and overseas and they have been developed after wide consultation. See all the principles listed in Principles: what health and disability services should provide for your child or young person.

Children and young people receive health care in many different settings

Principle: Accommodation, facilities and equipment should meet the needs of children and young people. Facilities and equipment should be designed, provided and maintained to ensure children and young people’s safety and emotional wellbeing. Accommodation for children and young people should be separate from that provided for adults.

Children and young people receive health care and disability services in many different settings, including:

  • doctor surgeries
  • community clinics
  • outpatient clinics
  • x-ray laboratories
  • inpatient wards
  • residential care

Although in some of these settings, children and young people may make up a small fraction of the overall client group, wherever they receive health care or disability support services, the location, design and equipment must be considered to ensure their wellbeing and safety.

What kind of environment do children and young people need?

Children and young people receiving health and disability services need an environment which:

  • promotes health
  • protects them from harm
  • helps maintain their dignity
  • is developmentally supportive
  • values play and learning, and provides books, games and other recreational equipment
  • encourages and respects continuing support from parents, family and friends (see Family-centred care)
  • ensures they feel comfortable, both physically and emotionally
  • nurtures their emotional wellbeing
  • involves them in information sharing and decision making
  • protects them, so far as possible, from sights and sounds that may cause needless anxiety, for example, ensures that clinical equipment is kept out of sight as far as possible (see Protection from distressing sights, sounds ...)

What kind of environment do children and young people need when they are in residential settings?

When children and young people are in hospital or another residential health care facility, the accommodation, facilities and equipment should:

  • meet their clinical needs
  • provide for ongoing developmental experiences and education
  • ensure their safety and emotional wellbeing
  • be supportive of family involvement

Accommodation for children and young people should be separate from that provided for adults.

Children and young people need to be cared for with others of their own age. All children should be cared for in children’s services, with access to play and recreational facilities, age-related toys, activities and equipment. Staff, of all disciplines, should be trained in caring for children and young people. Despite this having been established as a principle, older children are still admitted to adult wards in hospitals at times, in particular for surgical specialities.

There should be:

  • encouragement for you to stay with and support your child
  • written advice on the facilities available and any policies for their use (for instance, in a ward book and / or leaflets)

You can also expect:

  • a bed for you to sleep in beside or as close to your child as desired
  • that the facility is designed to enable you to be with your child before and after surgery
  • to be informed about any financial assistance available (see Financial help when your child has a disability or chronic condition)
  • one designated health care worker with responsibility for coordinating the needs of you and your family, if your child has contact with three or more services over time (see Continuity between and within services)
  • privacy for breast feeding
  • a place for formula warming
  • a place for nappy changing
  • easily accessible parking facilities
  • spaces and easy access for prams, pushchairs and wheelchairs with good access at all doors for wheelchairs and double pushchairs
  • bathrooms, baths, showers and toilets with wheelchair and attendant access
  • disability-friendly reception areas
  • availability of refreshments
  • a telephone for external calls
  • laundry facilities
  • a parents' sitting room
  • access to a kitchen area
  • an appropriately furnished and equipped playroom space (see Play, recreation and education)
  • recreation space for young people
  • safe equipment and furniture, in areas accessible to children

This page last reviewed 25 March 2015.
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