At a 620 bed District General Hospital, questionnaires were issued to the patients of 142 consecutive paediatric day surgery cases and the nurses involved in the care of these children. Most of the children were not upset by day case surgery, although nearly a quarter were distressed by changing into a theatre gown. Postoperatively, pain was more of a problem than nausea and vomiting. Relatively minor problems occurred at home. The majority of the 93 parents who replied were happy with the overall care of their child. They valued being present for induction of anaesthesia and would have liked to be present in recovery when their child was awake, although the nurses felt this would not have been helpful. Nonclinical matters also influenced their assessment of the quality of care.