Standards for short-stay paediatric assessment units (SSPAUs)

SSPAUs are hospital-based facilities where infants, children and young people with acute illness, injury or other urgent referrals from clinicians can be assessed, investigated, observed and treated with an expectation of discharge in less than 24 hours. Standards are vital to guide the development of new SSPAUs and to providing existing units with measures to audit against.

SSPAUs have emerged as an increasingly common component of urgent and emergency care for children, and as a hub for the provision and coordination of emergency ambulatory care.

As new units are established and as current units look to assess their quality and effectiveness, standards have been developed to provide a blueprint for development and for audit of existing services.