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Our values: Care with compassion, Respect and dignity, Striving to excel, Professional standards, Working together


Our paediatric service runs at the Children’s Resource Centre at Darent Valley Hospital; as part of the new Acorns Children and Young People Centre, at the Planned Care Centre at Queen Mary's Hospital Sidcup and at Erith & District Hospital.

Children's services are located in our Children’s Resource Centre at Darent Valley, but we also provide community care to young patients in Kent.

We provide a complete range of hospital services, caring for patients from before birth, through to childhood. Our specialist paediatricians look at all aspects of children’s health, development and wellbeing. We work with some of the leading consultants from the Evelina London Children's Healthcare, part of Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, so our patients benefit from specialist paediatric care provided to them locally. 

We provide general paediatric services and treatment wide range of medical and surgical complaints including:

  • Asthma
  • Childhood constipation service 
  • Children's allergy service 
  • Diabetes
  • Orthopaedics 
  • Paediatric Epilepsy Nurse Service 
  • Paediatric Orthopaedics 

Darent Valley hospital admits paediatric patients from the age of 0-16yrs to its Willow Ward. Children are often admitted from the Paediatric Accident and Emergency Department; Paediatric Assessment Unit or direct from home (via the Community Children’s Nursing Team).

Coming into Hospital

Do you have child that needs to come into hospital for an operation? We have introduced a step by step booklet that explains to them what is going to happen during their operation journey in a simple picture story. You can view it below: We have introduced this booklet so parents can spend time with their children explaining what is going to happen and hopefully alleviate some of the children's (and parents) fears. 


Outpatient services

Regular diabetic, asthma, constipation and allergy clinics are run by our paediatric consultants and dietitians as well as nurse-led annual review clinics. We also offer regular childhood constipation seminars to support parents in the management of their children’s condition.  

Our Team:

  • Dr Alok Gupta, Clinical Director and Paediatric Consultant with a special interest in Paediatric Diabetes
  • Dr Ali Bokhari, Paediatric Consultant with a special interest in Children's Heart Diseases
  • Dr Selwyn D’Costa, Paediatric Consultant with a special interest in paediatric respiratory conditions
  • Dr Abdul Hasib, Paediatric Consultant with a special interest in Neonataology
  • Dr Shahinul Khan, Paediatric Consultant with a special interest in Child Protection and Safeguarding
  • Dr Gautam Kulkarni, Paediatric Consultant with a special interest in Paediatric Allergies and Epilepsy

Willow Ward

Willow Ward is the inpatient paediatric ward at Darent Valley Hospital. The ward has 22 beds and admits children from the age of 0-16yrs; occasionally up to 18 years of age. Children are admitted to Willow ward with a wide range of medical, surgical and orthopaedic complaints. Children are admitted in various ways including: Accident and Emergency Department; direct from home (via the Community Children’s Nursing Team); via outpatients or via GP referral.


Willow Ward is staffed by a team of dedicated children’s nurses who are supported by health care assistants; a team of play specialists, an outreach hospital teacher and clerical staff. The ward has a wide range of facilities to care for children of all ages including adolescent facilities and the ball pool, children’s garden, play room and a computer den.

Visiting / staying

We encourage parents to participate in their child’s care wherever possible and we provide facilities for one parent or carer to stay overnight. The ward has a wide range of facilities for parents to stay by the bedside with their child during their stay in the hospital and separate facilities for parents to enable them to have some time out. These include a sitting room and kitchen. 


Other visitors may visit during open hours but please allow the doctors to do their rounds and those children who are well enough, to go to school. There should be only three visitors per bed.


Any visitor displaying unacceptable physical or verbal behaviour will be asked to leave and visiting children are the responsibility of the parent at all times.


Please also view our section on "bringing children into hospital".

Paediatric Assessment Unit (PAU)

Our Paediatric Assessment Unit at Darent Valley Hospital offers infants, children and young people with acute illness or injury, a dedicated facility where they can be assessed, investigated, observed and treated with an expectation of discharge in less than 24 hours. If patients require onward care, they are admitted to our Willow Ward at Darent Valley Hospital. 

The Unit is run by our experienced paediatric nurses and nursing assistants, supported by our Trust doctors to provide around-the-clock care for our paediatric patients.

Patients are transferred to us as a rapid transfer if further assessments or observations are required from an attendance at the Emergency Department, Urgent Care Centre/Minor Injury Unit or GP.  

The unit is open seven days a week 08.00-22.00.

Contact details: 01322 428232 or 01322 428233.

Our children's Emergency service (A&E) cares for children aged 16 and under who have suffered a recent injury or accident.

Neonatal Unit / Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) - Walnut Ward

Our Neonatal Unit within Walnut Ward provides expert care for new born babies who are either preterm or seriously ill babies who require a higher level of medical and nursing care following birth. 

Our Special Care Baby Unit provides care for babies who are born closer to their due date, born at 34 weeks or over or  have a less serious illness and stabilise a baby's condition before transferring them to another unit or provide emergency care if necessary. 

There are 22 special care cots including three high dependency cots so staff can stabilise and treat critically ill babies before transferring them to another unit. The unit is run by neonatal nurses and paediatricians who together deliver high quality specialised care to treat new born babies in need.

We provide facilities for parents to stay with their babies. 

The Children's Resource Centre

The Children’s Resource Centre is unique in that it merges paediatric community services and acute outpatients to form a combined child health service for children.


Within the centre, the aim is to offer a high standards of service to families with acceptance and support without discrimination. Our philosophy is an all encompassing framework of support for parents, carers and children while providing easy access to information. This philosophy incorporates families, professionals, volunteers and community groups.


Any family with children from any background or culture, with any problem of additional need can access information and support in finding those who can.


The children’s outpatient teams see approximately 100 children per week and support the community team who see approximately 360 children from 0-16yrs of age.


Contact details (reception): 01322 428232.

Paediatric blood tests

A Paediatric Phlebotomy service is available at Darent Valley Hospital for children aged under 12 years by appointment only. 

Appointment booking: 01322 428232 between 12.00-13.30

Clinics are all day Monday-Thursday, and Friday morning

Skin numbing cream is not provided. Children requiring anaesthetic cream (skin-numbing cream) may be prescribed by your GP and obtained from your local pharmacy in advance, or purchased from a pharmacist and booking staff will advise on the application of the cream. 

This service is for children of under 12, children 12 years and over are seen in the adult phlebotomy area located in the main outpatients and the booking of appointments remains the same as adults. For children 12 years and over a reason for a paediatric blood test such as due to anxiety, learning disabilities and additional needs will need to be provided at the time of booking the appointment.

Paediatric Outpatients, Planned Care Centre, Queen Mary's Hospital

Patients are seen in the new Acorns Children and Young People’s Centre. The service provides a general paediatric outpatient service for children 0-16 years of age, provided by our Consultant Paediatricians and Nurse Specialists.

Contact details:  020 8302 2678 ext. 3269

Opening hours: Monday to Thursday 09.00-17.00, Friday 09.00-14.00 


Referrals can be made by GPs through the NHS e-Referral service or by a hospital consultant.

Queen Mary's Hospital

Patients are seen in Children and Young People’s Acorns. The service provides a general paediatric outpatient service for children 0-16 years of age. This is provided by Consultant Paediatricians and Nurse Specialists.

Contact details:

020 8302 2678 ext 3269

Opening hours:

Monday to Thursday 9am-5pm;

Friday 9am-2pm