- If you have an accident, become very ill, or have to have an operation, you may have to stay in hospital to get the best care
- Your rights don’t stop just because you have to stay in hospital
- While you’re staying in hospital, all of your children’s rights apply to you – and some rights that you might not have thought of may be more important than usual
Staying in hospital can a scary experience for anyone however old. You’re away from home, everything is different, and on top of that, you’re hurt or ill or about to have an operation. All the more reason why it’s important that you are treated according to your rights.
Whether you have a room on your own will depend on why you are in hospital, what facilities the hospital has, and who else is in hospital at the same time. Even if you don’t have your own room, you have the right to privacy. You should also be treated with respect. This means that you should be able to have privacy even if you aren’t in your own room.
You should be protected from violence or abuse by anyone who cares for you. If you’re worried about something that has happened to you in hospital, or by the way someone has treated you while you are in hospital, you should tell someone straight away. It doesn’t matter what happened or when. It might have happened while you were having treatment, or while you were asleep or in your bed. You should feel safe in hospital, and be confident that everyone is acting in your best interests.
You should always be involved as much as possible in what’s happening to you. The people looking after you should give you as much information as possible so that you can understand what is happening to you. They should also talk to you about what is happening and find out what you think. You may not be able to make the decisions about your treatment. If you can’t, the people making decisions about you should listen to your views, and take them into account.
Most hospitals which have a children’s ward will allow you to have someone staying with you. This will usually be a parent or carer. Your friends and other members of your family will usually be able to visit you while you are in hospital.
If you have to stay in hospital for a long time, and can’t go to school, the local authority should work with you to make arrangements for you to continue with your education. Sometimes you may not feel well enough to do any school work, but when you do feel well enough, you should be able to carry on with work from school. Find out more about your rights to education here.
We are very grateful to Irwin Mitchell Solicitors for generously giving their time and expertise to check the content of this section of the website. October 2018.