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Koala Ward

Koala Ward is on Level 5 of the Morgan Stanley Clinical Building (MSCB), part of the Mittal Children’s Medical Centre at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).

Koala ward - koala in tree
Koala Ward,

Level 5, Morgan Stanley Clinical Building
Great Ormond Street Hospital
Great Ormond Street

Koala Ward telephone numbers: 020 7829 8826 and 020 7813 8313

For urgent admissions outside of office hours it is important to contact your nearest Accident and Emergency department or local doctor in the first instance. They will be able to advise you and liaise with us on your behalf.

If your child has hydrocephalus, please contact Koala Ward and speak to the nurse in charge for further advice.

About the ward

Find out more about Koala Ward by watching our short video below.

If the video is not showing, please watch it on YouTube. A video transcript is also available.

Koala Ward cares for children within the following clinical specialties:

  • neurology
  • telemetry
  • craniofacial
  • neurosurgery

Koala Ward has:

  • two four-bed high dependency bays for children needing closer monitoring and nursing care, perhaps coming back from the operating theatre
  • four telemetry monitoring rooms (all single-bedded rooms with en-suite bathrooms)
  • ten single rooms, all with their own en-suite bathrooms and space for one parent to stay
  • two isolation rooms for children who either have an infection or who need to be protected from infection (one with a lobby to care for immunocompromised patients)

You can learn more about our clinical specialties by visiting:

Staff on the ward

Nurses on Koala Ward

Koala Ward is run by a highly qualified multidisciplinary team that includes consultants in neurosurgery, neurology and craniofacial surgery, nurses, healthcare assistants, therapists, play specialists, psychologists, a ward administrator and housekeeping staff.

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

  • Siobahn Lalor-McTague, Head of Nursing 
  • Katie Fishwick and Melissa Strickland, Ward Managers          

Conditions we treat

Koala Ward artwork and facts 2

The special areas of expertise include the diagnosis and treatment of:

  • complex craniofacial syndromes
  • complex epilepsy and epilepsy surgery
  • neuromuscular disorders
  • neurodegenerative and neurometabolic disorders
  • neurovascular disorders
  • neuropsychiatric disorders
  • central nervous system tumours
  • spinal cord abnormalities

Ward information

The ward is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Epilepsy monitoring takes place five days a week, from Monday to Friday.  

We operate an open visiting policy for parents and carers. Visiting hours are from 8am to 8pm for relatives and friends.   

In the High Dependency Unit (HDU) we ask that only two people are at the bedside at any one time. 
Only one parent is allowed to stay overnight at the bedside due to health and safety risks.   

Parents can use the Paul O'Gorman Patient Hotel, also called Weston House. For more information, please read our family accommodation factsheet.

Bed allocation

Bed bay on Koala Ward

We do our utmost 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 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.

Other information

Hospital transport to and from GOSH is only available for children who have a medical reason for it. Please make your own arrangements for transport to and from the hospital and for the journey home after your child is discharged. 

When your child is admitted for surgery they will need to have their hair washed with shampoo only. Please do not use conditioner.  

Please also make sure that your child’s fingernails are short and clean and that all nail varnish has been removed. They will also need pyjamas, slippers and a dressing gown.  

There are a limited number of nappies available so please bring your own to the ward.

Facilities for parents

Koala Ward reception area

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

We cannot accept responsibility for any loss or damage to personal property. If you are bringing valuable items onto the ward, please make sure you keep them with you at all times. A small safe is available for valuables. 

There is a telephone by each bed, which you can use to make outgoing calls either by swiping your credit or debit card or by purchasing a phone card from the hospital shop. 

You can also give the telephone number to family and friends so that they can call you, but please ask them not to call late in the evening as this may disturb other children on the ward.

Free tea and coffee is available on the ward for parents. You may also wish to bring your own ready meals or snacks and drinks. There are microwave facilities available.

There is a limited amount of fridge space in the kitchen. Food stored in the refrigerator must be dated and labelled. This helps us to ensure that out of date items are thrown away. 

There is a parents’ sitting room which you are welcome to use if you want a break. The room has comfortable chairs, a television and magazines. There is also a quiet room where you can talk confidentially with a member of staff.

Regulations on the ward

The following are not allowed on Koala Ward:
  • Flowers in the HDU or for patients with external drains – water in the vase can develop a bacterium that can cause infection in children.
  • Latex balloons – due to potential allergic reactions.
  • Mobile phones – these can only be used in designated areas of the ward and not in the HDU area. 
If your child has either had a recent contact with chickenpox or measles, or has chickenpox, measles, shingles, diarrhoea and vomiting, then please contact a member of the nursing team before arriving. 

Hand washing is important to stop infection spreading so please remember to wash your hands when coming onto the ward. Alcohol gel is available as well as soap and water. 

We also ask parents to keep their child’s bed space tidy. This is important from a health and safety perspective, but also makes it easier for domestic staff to clean around the bed. 

Siblings and young family members are welcome on the ward. However, they must be supervised at all times by an adult, particularly when in the playroom or sensory room.

More information