Kangaroo Ward

Kangaroo Ward cares for children and young people who need long term respiratory support such as breathing with the help of a ventilator.
There are nine beds, each in a single cubicle with en-suite bathroom facilities. One room is especially set aside for children and young people having a sleep study. 

Location

Kangaroo Ward is on Level 2 of the new Premier Inn Clinical Building (PICB), part of the Mittal Children’s Medical Centre at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

  • Ward reception – 020 7405 9200 ext 6646
  • Nurses’ station – 020 7813 8339

For urgent admissions outside of office hours, please call the switchboard on 020 7405 9200 and ask for the doctor on call for Kangaroo Ward. 

If your child has any additional needs, please call in advance to let us know. 

Staff on the ward

Kangaroo Ward is mainly run by our team of nurses and healthcare assistants, who work closely with the doctors to prepare your child for discharge to home or another facility. 

Other staff who work on the ward include a discharge team, physiotherapists, social workers, occupational therapists, a play specialist, music therapist, dietitian and housekeeping staff.

The following members of staff will be available to help you during your stay on the ward:

  • Matron: Eleanor Tyrrell
  • Ward Manager: Jodian Pringle

Conditions we treat

Children and young people staying on Kangaroo Ward have various conditions that mean they need help with their breathing. These include: chronic lung disease, complex respiratory conditions and complex neuro-muscular disorders.

Occasionally, if your child’s condition changes, they might be transferred to another ward, usually Leopard Ward. 

Ward Information

Protected meal times 

It is the GOSH principle that children and young people will not be interrupted with either non-essential clinical or non-clinical activities during the advertised ward mealtimes – we call this ‘protected time’. This is usually an hour at both lunch and dinner time. Outside of mealtime, we will also try not to interrupt when children and young people are eating or feeding. Please see the posters on the ward for these times or ask a member of staff. Of course, please ask for help in a clinical emergency. 

Privacy and dignity

The nurses are in charge of allocating bed spaces mainly depending on clinical needs. We will allocate a bed space to your child according to how their psychological and social needs are best met when balanced with their clinical needs. Your child’s safety will be our utmost priority at all times.

As part of our progress towards protecting your child’s dignity, we have introduced a new type of theatre gown. This provides unrestricted access for our nurses and doctors while keeping your child covered up and comfortable at all times.

Security and fire

For security reasons, the doors to Kangaroo Ward are kept locked. Please ring the bell and when asked, state who you are and the name of the child you have come to visit.

We have Parent ID badges you can sign out from the ward reception desk. We ask for a deposit for £10 per badge as this is what they cost if we need to replace them. Please hand them back in to get your money back, our ward clerks are always happy to help.

All members of staff must wear an identity badge at all times. If someone not wearing an identity badge approaches you or your child at any time, please check with a member of staff. If you are at all worried, please call security on extension 5999.

Our security guards are on duty in the hospital 24 hours a day, seven days week. They are here to protect all our staff, patients and visitors and do regular patrols for all the buildings. Remember if you see anything out of the ordinary, ask a member of staff to contact security. 

Try not to bring valuable items to the hospital, as we cannot accept responsibility for the loss of or damage to any personal belongings. There is a small safe within each room to store small items such as mobile phones, tablet computers and keys when you are not using them. If you have larger items that need secure storage, please ask a member of staff to call our Security team.

All parts of the hospital site are protected by a very sensitive fire alarm system. If you are on the ward when the fire alarm sounds continuously, please remain calm and follow the instructions from the nurse in charge. If you are elsewhere in the hospital, please remain where you are and follow the instructions from a member of staff. Do not return to the ward until the area is declared safe by the hospital fire team.

Smoking is not allowed anywhere on GOSH property, which includes inside any of the buildings or areas nearby including entrances. Please do not smoke in our main entrance or near hospital buildings, as we will ask you to move elsewhere.

Mobile phones

These can be used in the cubicle, the parents’ room and the corridor outside the ward. You can use your mobile phone around the hospital but only in designated mobile-friendly zones. Most beds in the hospital have a telephone by the bedside, so you can call directly. Please ask the child’s parents for the number, as our switchboard cannot put calls through to patients. We also ask that you do not call after 10pm as this could disturb our patients’ sleep.

Respect for others

We will not tolerate any kind of inappropriate or threatening behaviour – verbal, physical or psychological – and we have a policy to ensure that this is dealt with appropriately. We can and will remove people from GOSH in these circumstances.

Visiting a patient at GOSH

We know that having visitors can make things seem more ‘normal’ for our patients. However, we have to have a balance between people visiting and our staff being able to care for our patients.

If you have any questions about visiting, please telephone the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (Pals) Office before you visit on 020 7829 7862.

Who can visit?

One parent is welcome to stay with their child during an admission. The other parent can visit at any time but will not be able to stay overnight on the ward. Grandparents and other friends and relatives are also welcome to visit but preferably between 8am and 10pm.

A patient’s brothers and sisters can visit too, but again only between 8am and 10pm. There are toys and games in the ward playroom to keep them occupied. Please remember that you are responsible for their behaviour at all times in the hospital as our staff cannot supervise siblings.

Some wards restrict the numbers of other children (not brothers or sisters) visiting, so please check before you come to GOSH. Children and young people can also keep in touch with friends through the activities centre and hospital school. Sometimes we can help by providing a video conference.

Please note that one parent has to be present while other people are visiting or they have to give written permission for visitors while they are not there. If there is any confusion about who can visit a child, we will always give priority to people with ‘parental responsibility’ for the patient.

Our patients’ safety is our utmost concern and if a parent is not present and they have not given permission for visitors, we can and will refuse entry to the ward.
As you have probably been staying at GOSH for a while, you or your child may have friends staying on other wards. Please note that if your child has an active infection then you should not visit other wards for risk of cross infection to other patients. If you would like to visit, please discuss this with the nurse in charge of the ward first as some wards may be closed to visitors occasionally. 

When can I visit?

Some wards close during ‘ward rounds’, where each child’s progress and future plans are discussed. The nurse in charge will be able to give you a rough idea of when these happen and for how long they last. Wards also have ‘quiet periods’ when visiting is restricted, which enables patients to have an afternoon rest without interruption. 

How many people can visit?

Space is quite limited on most of our wards, so we ask that a maximum of three people (including the parent) visit a child at one time. If more than three people want to visit, please take it in turns to visit the ward. Other visitors can get a drink or something to eat in one of our eating-places while they wait.

What can I bring?

You are welcome to bring presents for patients but please be aware of some restrictions.

  • Latex (stretchy rubber) balloons are not allowed, as some patients have life threatening latex allergy. Foil balloons do not cause these problems so you are welcome to bring these.
  • Flowers – water in the vase can develop a bacterium that can cause infection in children.
  • Some materials on certain wards such as fluffy/fleece blankets. Please check with the nurse.
  • Please check with the nurse before you bring in food, such as chocolates and sweets, as some of our patients are on restricted diets.

When you are visiting, please keep the area around the child’s bed tidy so that our nurses can reach the bed easily and quickly.

Although the rooms on Kangaroo Ward are larger than on other wards, there is still a limited amount of storage for belongings. If you bring any bulky items with you that cannot fit into the room storage, we will ask you to take them home again. Please note that the hospital cannot accept responsibility for any loss of or damage to personal property.

Finding the ward

Please ask the child’s parents for the name of the ward. Our reception staff can tell you where the child is staying but will ask you for proof of identity. Volunteers near the main reception desk can escort you to the ward or give you directions.

Infection control

Please do not visit if you have a cold, cough or an upset stomach, or think you have recently been in contact with someone who has. You should wait until you have not had any symptoms for 48 hours before you visit. Other infectious diseases including chicken pox and measles could be particularly dangerous for some of our patients so please do not visit if you have been in contact with them recently.

If you are a parent staying with your child and you become unwell during their stay we will ask you to leave the ward to go home to get better.

When you visit, please wash your hands thoroughly before you enter the ward and use the alcohol gel provided at each ward door. When you leave the patient, please wash your hands again and use alcohol gel. Every member of staff is reminded to wash their hands before visiting a child, so please ask us.

Will you give me information about the patient’s progress?

We will only give this information to the child’s parents, unless they give us permission to tell anyone else. If family and friends want to receive regular updates on a child’s progress, we suggest parents tell one person who is then responsible for telling everyone else. This is often easier to manage than making lots of phone calls every time their condition changes.

Facilities

You are a valued member of your child‘s healthcare team and we encourage you to take part in his or her care as much as possible while in hospital.

Meals are not provided for parents, but food and drink can be bought from various places within the hospital and local area. You may want to bring in your own snacks and drinks. Parents are welcome to use the ward kitchen outside of patient mealtimes to prepare these.

Kangaroo Ward has a spacious play/sensory room, which has been designed to meet the needs of children with complex needs, their brothers and sisters and families. The room will continue to be supervised by our play specialist and ward staff during office hours for children staying on the ward. You will be responsible for brothers and sisters as you are now.

For mothers who wish to breastfeed, we provide a dedicated room. We also provide the equipment to 'express' breast milk so your child can be fed through a nasogastric tube, if necessary.