Woodpecker Unit

Woodpecker ward is a same day admission unit (SDAU). Patients come to Woodpecker before having an operation or procedure.

Woodpecker has 13 cubicles, a luggage store room and a play room. There are patient bedside entertainment units in each cubicle and there are lots of toys and games for children to play with while they are waiting for their operation or procedure.

Location

Woodpecker Ward Nurses’ station telephone number: 020 7405 9200, ext 0354/ 0355/0356/0672 

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

Staff on the ward

Woodpecker Ward is mainly run by our team of nurses and health care assistants, who work closely with the doctors to help prepare for your child for their operation or procedure. Other staff who work on the ward include a play specialist, play worker and ward administrator.

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

  • Matron: Claire Waller
  • Ward Manager: Philomena Cosgrove
  • Housekeeper: Rui Mata & Paulette Bryan
  • Play Specialist: Julie Perkins
  • Play Worker: Koli Begum
  • Ward Administrator: TBC

Conditions we treat

Woodpecker covers all areas of surgery. 

Ward Information

Staying with your child  

Two family members are allowed to stay with your child and accompany them to the anaesthetic room if you wish to.

Privacy and dignity

We do everything we can to protect the privacy and dignity of your child at all times during their stay at GOSH. Your child will be allocated a bed space according to how their physical, psychological and social needs are best met while taking into consideration the needs of other children and young people on the ward at that time.

Please tell us if your child has a preference for being with other children of their own age or gender and we will try to meet this request where possible. Please note that there are some circumstances where requests cannot be met, for instance, in high dependency or intensive care areas. 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. Most of our patients walk down to theatres if they are able, please can you bring slippers and a dressing gown so your child can wear these whilst walking to the theatre area.

Security and fire

For security reasons, the doors to Woodpecker 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.

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 n 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 f 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.

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.

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.

Please note that some wards, particularly intensive care units and wards where children have immune problems, have stricter guidelines than others so if you are unsure, please ask to speak to the nurse in charge.

What can I bring?

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

  • Latex (stretchy rubber) balloons are not allowed, as some of our 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 ie 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.

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.

Occasionally, we have to move children from one ward to another. This happens most often at weekends, when the number of patients is reduced so two or more wards might combine to provide a safe and effective service. Other occasions when we might move a child are when he or she has an infection or is at risk of catching an infection. In these circumstances, we might move them to a single cubicle or, on rare occasions when more than one patient has an infection, close the ward to all visitors.

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.

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 a child’s condition changes.

Important information

GOSH is a smoke-free zone, which means that you cannot smoke anywhere inside hospital property and adjacent areas, such as entrances to hospital buildings.

You can use your mobile phone inside the hospital, but only within designated ‘mobile phone friendly zones’. Using your mobile elsewhere could cause interference with our medical equipment.

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.

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

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.

Mobile phones can be used in the cubicle, the parents’ room and the corridor outside the ward. Using them elsewhere can interfere with our medical equipment, and can also be disruptive to other families. You can use your mobile phone around the hospital but only in designated mobile-friendly zones.

Woodpecker ward has a well equipped playroom and a play specialist during the week who organises activities. The play specialist can provide age appropriate play opportunities and can help to prepare your child for the procedures that he or she will undergo in hospital.

More Information

For more information about facilities available for parents, family members, visitors and patients in the hospital, including the Chapel and multi-faith room, hospital school, activity centre and information on where you can eat or find facilities such as launderettes, please visit our Facilities A-Z page.