Child Health

Torbay Hospital
Lowes Bridge
Torquay TQ2 7AA

Switchboard: 0300 456 8000 (local rate) or 01803 614567


We aim to safeguard and promote good health for all children in South Devon whilst providing comprehensive local care to those in need together with support for their families.

The Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust provides a Child Health Service mainly on an individual basis either as an inpatient, outpatient or in a community setting. Additionally, and where appropriate, the service may be provided in a group setting, within the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.

Except for emergency and inpatient care, services are provided by appointment and are normally available between the hours of 9am and 5pm excluding weekends, public, bank and statutory holidays.

Emergency arrangements

Emergency and inpatient care is available at all times, always with direct access to a Consultant Paediatrician.

Children’s Ward – Louisa Cary Ward, Torbay Hospital

The ward cares for children between the ages of 0 – 18 years with any medical, surgical or psychological conditions requiring inpatient care, day case and day patient care. There are separate areas on the ward for assessment, for young people and for high dependency patients.

The assessment area is used for planned investigations and treatments. The young person’s unit is for teenagers and has its own lounge area. The two high dependency beds provide more intensive care for children when necessary. There are overnight stay facilities for parents, including en suite rooms, showering facilities and a lounge/kitchen.

Child Development Centre – John Parkes Unit, Torbay Hospital Annexe

  • Base for multidisciplinary assessment and treatment of children/babies.
  • Nursery for preschool children with special needs.
  • Base for toy library/Portage.
  • Special groups for communication for Down’s Syndrome children. Language group (outside of nursery group). Support group for parents who have babies with Down’s Syndrome.

Information regarding Special Baby Care Unit (SCBU).

Children’s Specialist Community Team

An outreach nursing service and a psychologist, offering support to families of children with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions in their homes or other community settings. Tel 01803 654616.

Child Epilepsy

The Nurse Specialist is based with the Specialist Children’s Community Team. Referrals can be made by any professional or carer. Tel 01803 654616.

Cystic Fibrosis

The Nurse Specialist is based with the Specialist Children’s Community Team. Referrals can be made by any professional or carer. Tel 01803 654616.

Outpatient service for children with medical, behavioural, emotional and/or developmental problems

General paediatric outpatient clinics – Brixham; Newton Abbot; Paignton; Teignmouth; Torbay; Totnes.

  • For children referred by GPs and Consultant staff.

Visiting specialists – access through local consultant paediatricians who refer on for:

  • Clinical Genetics
  • Paediatric Neurology
  • Paediatric Nephrology
    • Cardiology
    • Urology
    • Oncology
    • Cystic Fibrosis
    • Rheumatology
    • Diabetic

Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Service

Please see Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.

Safeguarding children

Child protection examinations/assessments are undertaken at the John Parkes Unit or at the police victim suites by the consultant paediatricians, following referral by police/social services. There is 24-hour cover throughout the year from consultant paediatricians to police and social services. Additional information regarding Safeguarding Children.

Community child health

Based around community clinics in each locality, specialising in developmental health, childhood behaviour and education:

  • Outpatient consultant clinics held in the community
  • Educational assessments and special needs statementing
  • Children with special needs attending special schools are mainly seen in outpatient clinics at the schools to facilitate good multi-disciplinary working between school, home and health. Children with Severe Learning Disabilities (SLD) and demanding behaviour are seen in a joint clinic with the child and adolescent psychiatrist and paediatrician.

NB – School Nursing Services are managed by the local Primary Care Trusts.

Community consultation clinics

Brixham; Dartmouth; Newton Abbot; Paignton; Teignmouth; Torbay; Totnes.

Clinical support services

These include: Health Visitors; Midwives; Nutrition & Dietetics; Occupational Therapy; Orthoptics; Physiotherapy; Speech and Language Therapy.

Moving to adult health services

For many children with long-term conditions the move to adult health services can be daunting. We hope that the following video provides a useful guide to help children and their families to prepare.

Making the move to adult health care services

Support videos

To support the users of our service, we have prepared some videos that we hope will help parents and carers. If you would like some more information, please contact us.

View our child health video library