Second floor, South Wing, staircase D, St Thomas' Hospital
Directions: from the main North Wing entrance, turn right at the reception, then left into North Wing. Follow the corridor down through to South Wing, take lift D to the second floor and follow signs for Snow Leopard ward.
Long-term ventilation centre
Snow Leopard is a home away from home environment for children who have long-term ventilation (LTV) needs. The unit also helps to ease the move from hospital to home for long-term ventilation children and their families.
Children on long-term ventilation are those who need the help of a breathing machine for months or years at a time. Some children may use a face mask, but many will have a plastic tube (tracheostomy) that is inserted into their windpipe to create an artificial airway.
The neurorehabilitation unit offers inpatient rehabilitation for children and young people up to 16 years with acquired brain and spinal cord injuries who no longer need ongoing significant medical treatment. Our focus is to help children and young people develop skills, and to reduce the impact of the injury on their everyday life, when they leave hospital. Typically the admission will be six weeks long. The team work in partnership with young people and their families to make an individualised and goal-directed programme of rehabilitation. This helps us to ensure that we are working towards things that are important and meaningful to every young person and family.
Children's sleep centre
The children’s sleep centre also sits within Snow Leopard ward, with three dedicated bedrooms providing a full range of inpatient diagnostic sleep studies. Detailed sleep studies can also be carried out for patients on Snow Leopard ward, to support patients requiring long-term ventilation. Find out more about our children’s sleep medicine department.
Information for visitors
- Parents can visit their child at any time.
- Visiting hours for all other visitors are 10am-8pm, however please try to avoid visiting at mealtimes so children can eat uninterrupted.
- Visiting children must be supervised by an adult.
- Please keep quiet in the evening. In order to reduce noise, children will only be allowed to watch TV if they use headphones.
- We have an afternoon quiet time from 12.45-13.30pm
- Always clean your hands with the alcohol gel provided when you enter or leave the ward to reduce the risk of infection.
- If you have been in contact with someone who has chicken pox speak to the nurse in charge before entering the ward. Some of the children on the ward are very sensitive to infections.
- Please speak to your nurse about visiting if you have symptoms of cold or flu, or have diarrhoea or vomiting before you visit.
One parent or carer can stay with their child overnight. We provide linen, towels and showering facilities.
If we cannot accommodate you on the ward, there are other places near the hospital where you can stay. Please see the accommodation page for more information.
We have a parents' room in which you can relax. It has its own tea and coffee making facilities and a fridge in which you can store your own food. Please label any food with your child’s name and bed number. There is also a television and toys for visiting siblings.
There is a lovely play area and there are play specialists on the ward who will come and meet your child during their stay.
We have TVs above all the beds which are free for children. In the evening we ask that any children who wish to watch TV do so using headphones in order to reduce noise on the ward.
Meal times and information
- Breakfast: 8.15am – selection of cereals and toast
- Lunch: noon – hot or cold selection
- Dinner: 5pm – hot or cold selection
We have a dining area on the ward where meals are served and children are encouraged to eat. Meals are provided only for patients and pregnant or breastfeeding mothers who are staying with us.
If your child has any food allergies or special dietary requirements, please tell your nurse.
Water, squash drinks, milk, tea and coffee can be provided at any time from the kitchen.
Noise and sleep
Sleep studies are carried out overnight in the children’s sleep centre, with daytime studies occurring on some days. Patients and visitors to Snow Leopard are asked to keep noise to a minimum as they walk by the Sleep Centre bedrooms, especially when the “sleep study in progress” signs are displayed
Good sleep is important for all children’s growth so our team work with children and families to develop and support good sleep habits. Children who come to the Snow Leopard ward often have complex medical problems and are likely to have had long stays in hospital during their life. This can affect their ability to develop a good sleep routine.
We plan our patient care to lessen the number of times they may need to be woken during the night and promote a restful ward environment to make it easier for children to get to sleep in the evening.
When it is time for a child to leave the ward, our team will help to make sure their sleep routine can be put in place at home.
All children who are well enough are expected to attend the hospital school during term time.