Little Journey

Help & Support

Welcome to the Little Journey Help & Support Centre. 

Here you will find FAQs, useful how-to videos and our contact details incase you need to get in touch. 



What is Little Journey?

The Little Journey app has been designed by healthcare professionals, children and their parents for the sole purpose of improving how we provide medical information to families about hospital. It was created with the aim of reducing any anxiety you or your child may have, by familiarising you with what may happen and the team looking after you. Information is delivered to children and their parents based on the findings of research studies performed in the UK and abroad.

The Little Journey app can be tailored to individual hospitals, meaning that you and your child can explore the exact rooms they’ll visit on the day of their procedure, from the comfort of your own home. With storylines, animations and information designed for different age groups, we aim to engage and inform your child about hospital in a fun and interactive way.

We also provide bite size pieces of information to you, the parents and carers, that are delivered both before and after hospital. We hope this helps support you throughout your whole hospital experience and helps you talk with your child about what is happening. We’ve also included checklists, a notification-based system and questionnaires to help us understand you and your child’s needs, to help improve your hospital experience.

When should my child use the Little Journey App?

The Little Journey app has been designed for use at home by children aged 3 to 12 years of age in the weeks leading up to their hospital visit and by their parents before, during and after the procedure. Based on the findings of medical research, we suggest the Little Journey app is used at different times depending on your child’s age:

• Children 3-6 years old should use the Little Journey app in the few days directly before coming to hospital. They can use the app before this but the majority of time spent using it should be the day before their procedure.

• Children 6+ should use the Little Journey app for the first time seven-to-ten days before their hospital visit. They can use the Little Journey app prior to this, but we suggest not using the app for the first time in the last few days before hospital, as children in this age group benefit from having time to process the information.

With your permission, we will notify you when to use the Little Journey app based around the date of birth you entered for your child when signing up to the app.

1. Kain ZN, Mayes LC, Caramico LA Preoperative preparation in children: a cross-sectional study. J Clin Anesth 1996; 8: 508-14.

How can I get involved with Little Journey?

If you would like to get involved, we are always looking for people to help design and develop new elements to the Little Journey application. We currently have the following community groups providing feedback and support:

  1. Healthcare Professionals within the NHS
  2. Healthcare Professionals outside of the NHS
  3. Young children aged 3-7
  4. Young children aged 8-12
  5. Parents of children going for surgery


To get involved, please use the contact form on this website, or email

Do we have to self-isolate before hospital?

Previously, any child or adult coming for an operation would have to self-isolate for up to 14 days before their operation.

Self-isolating means that the child and accompanying adult would need to stay at home and avoid any face to face interactions, including going to school or work and seeing friends. However, new guidance suggests that families don’t need to routinely isolate before their operation, unless told otherwise by the hospital beforehand. In addition, you also don’t have to isolate after your operation, just continue with social distancing and washing your hands regularly with soap and water.

What is Coronavirus?

Viruses are a type of germ that can cause infections. There are many different types of viruses including the common cold, bronchiolitis and tonsillitis. Each virus spreads from one person to another in different ways and leads to symptoms specific to that virus.

Coronavirus is a type of virus. The main way it spreads is from cough and sneeze droplets which are then either breathed in or land on surfaces which someone else touches. The most common symptoms of coronavirus are:
– A new continuous cough this means coughing a lot, for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours
– A high temperature
– A loss of, or change to, your sense of taste or smell.

Some people also experience muscles aches, tiredness and shortness of breath.

To stay safe from Coronavirus, we can do three key things:
1. Wear a face covering in public places like public transport, hospitals and shops
2. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water
3. Maintain social distancing: Try to stay two metres apart from people outside your household at any time.

Coronavirus has changed the process of having an operation greatly: from what staff wear to the areas they travel through on the day and the need to have a COVID screening swab before the operation. Even if you’ve had elective surgery before yourself, or been with a child having surgery, please read the following information articles to help prepare you.

Is it safe to have surgery during a pandemic?

The past few months have been extremely challenging for everyone. There has been a huge amount of work and changes made to ensure the NHS is able to continue safely caring for patients of all ages. A big change in recent months has been in the reduction in planned surgery being performed while infection levels in the community remained high. This has meant that many children and adults have had to wait longer than planned for their operation. After the initial rise in cases, infections levels dropped meaning it was safe enough for children to start having planned day case surgery again. This remains the case at present, but infection levels are being carefully monitored.

To help keep everyone safe, several steps have been put in place to reduce the risk of catching coronavirus while in hospital. Hospital staff will all follow certain infection control measures, like wearing a face mask when they’re looking after you. Just like everywhere else, there are key things that you can do to help protect yourselves:

1. Washing your hands with soap and water regularly, but especially when you enter or leave each hospital area.
2. Maintain social distancing as best as possible.
3. Wear a face covering.

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