Squirrel Ward is a 22-bedded ward with an eight-bedded High Dependency Unit (HDU). It is located on Level 5 of the Variety Club Building (VCB).
Level 5, Variety Club Building
Great Ormond Street Hospital
Great Ormond Street
Squirrel Ward nurses’ station telephone number: 020 7829 8814
For urgent enquiries outside of office hours, please call the switchboard on 020 7405 9200.
About the ward
Find out more about Squirrel Ward by watching our short video below.
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This is a general and urology surgical ward with patients ranging in age from neonates to adolescents. The operations carried out range from short-stay procedures (such as hypospadias repairs) to complex bowel operations.
Patients are admitted to the ward as a booked admission, as discharges from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) or Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), or as emergency referrals.
This ensures that there is a constant mix of long-term children who require ongoing specialist treatment and fast paced short-term admissions.
Squirrel Ward offers a specialist service for children with urological disorders. It is one of two centres in the UK that specialise in the management of children with:
You can learn more about our clinical specialties by visiting:
Staff on the ward
Squirrel Ward is run by our highly qualified nursing team, including clinical nurse specialists and consultants.
You will see your child’s named consultant regularly, as well as the on duty consultant for the ward.
Other members of the team include healthcare assistants, a school teacher and a play specialist.
Other key members of staff on the ward include:
- Tracey Norris, Head of Nursing
- Helen Ingall, Ward Sister
Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) is also a teaching facility so you will see student nurses and doctors completing their training, but they will be supervised at all times by a qualified member of staff.
Conditions we treat
The special areas of expertise for urological problems include:
We also treat surgical patients who have complex conditions including:
For security reasons, the doors to the ward are kept locked. Please ring the bell and a member of staff will unlock the door.
Parents are welcome to visit at any time. Brothers, sisters and visitors are welcome between 10am and 8pm, but preferably not in a big group as space is limited on the ward.
Meals are provided for children and teenagers who are patients on Squirrel Ward. Lunch is between noon and 12.30pm and dinner is between 5pm and 5.30pm.
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 their physical, psychological and social needs, 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 and/or gender. We will try to meet this request where possible. But please remember that sometimes requests cannot be met.
Your child's safety will be our utmost priority at all times.
Facilities for parents
You are a valued member of your child’s healthcare team and we encourage you to take part in their care as much as possible while in hospital.
If you are staying in a bay, unfortunately we only have chairs available. We realise that chairs are not ideal and we can book you somewhere else to stay in the hospital if you prefer. Parents of children in the HDU will be offered on-site hospital accommodation
Meals are not provided for parents, but food and drink can be bought from the various catering facilities within the hospital and local area. If you would like to bring in food from home or local shops, you are welcome to use the parent’s beverage bay. There is also a microwave that you can use to heat up snacks.
There is a fridge where you can store food, although there are some restrictions – for instance, cooked rice cannot be kept in the fridge. For more information, please contact the ward. Please do not enter the kitchen when food trolley is there for health and safety reasons.
There is a telephone by each bed and you can make outgoing calls by swiping your credit or debit card or a GOSH phone card (available from the hospital shop). You can also give the telephone number to family and friends so they can call you, but please ask them not to phone too late in the evening.
Mobile phones can only be used in the parents’ room or the stairwell outside the ward. Using them elsewhere can interfere with our medical equipment.
Facilities for children
Squirrel Ward has a well equipped playroom which is open every day and evening for toys, activities and crafts.
The play specialists will supervise the playroom and organizes activities during the week.
The play specialist offers age-appropriate play and can help to prepare your child for the procedures they will have in hospital.
You are responsible for watching your child, particularly when the play specialist is with another child elsewhere.
If brothers and sisters are visiting, you are responsible for their behaviour at all times. We also ask that you tidy up after your child, especially during evenings, at weekends and during holiday periods. If your child has to stay in bed or is in isolation, you are welcome to borrow toys, games and videos from playroom but please return them when your child has finished with them.
Children can also use the Centre on the ground floor of the Southwood Building. This has an outdoor area and a dedicated room for teenagers called the Den.
The hospital school is on the ground floor of the Southwood Building too, next door to the Centre. Teachers also visit Squirrel Ward.
Each bed has access to a television but we would ask that all televisions be switched off after 9pm in the ward areas where children are sleeping.
Regulations on the ward
The following are not allowed on Squirrel Ward:
- Flowers – water in the vase can develop a bacterium that can cause infection in children.
- Latex balloons – due to potential allergic reactions.
If any of your visitors have been in recent contact with coughs, colds, tummy bugs, or infectious diseases like chicken pox or measles, we would prefer them to wait until they are better before visiting.
No child will be allowed in to the ward if they have chicken pox.
Last reviewed at Great Ormond Street Hospital: 16 August 2011
- If you have any questions, please telephone Squirrel Ward on: 020 7829 8814.
- If you have any other questions during your stay, please ask the head of nursing, ward sister or nursing staff, who will be very happy to help.