Our history

1930 history nurse and patient

Great Ormond Street Hospital opened on 14 February 1852 and it was originally known as The Hospital for Sick Children - the first hospital in the UK to offer dedicated inpatient care to children. The hospital was housed at 49 Great Ormond Street and had just 10 beds.

Since then GOSH has become one of the world’s leading children’s hospitals and dedicated to children’s healthcare and to finding new and better ways to treat childhood illnesses.

From then to now

GOSH was founded by Dr Charles West, who was driven to set up a children's hospital by the shockingly high level of infant mortality in London.

The hospital started in a seventeenth century townhouse with just 10 beds and two physicians. Since then, GOSH has become a place where multi–disciplinary teams of healthcare professionals and scientists improve the lives of children with rare or complex diseases.

Through carrying out research with local, national and international partners, GOSH has developed a number of new clinical treatments and techniques that are used across the NHS and around the world.

We host the The UK’s only National Institute for Health and Care Research funded Biomedical Research Centre (NIHR GOSH BRC) that solely focuses on child health, and we are also home to the NIHR GOSH Clinical Research Facility, which provides specialist day care accommodation for children and young people taking part in clinical research studies.


Meet some of the doctors, surgeons, nurses and writers who have helped shape our history.


Learn about some of the hospital's pioneering breakthroughs over the past 160 years. 


Find out about how our Archive Service is keeping the hospital's history alive. 

Peter Pan

Read about our connection with Peter Pan, and how he's been helping children grow up for over 80 years.