This morning, the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne visited Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) to announce a new £800 million boost to biomedical research through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).
He was joined by the Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt, Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Chief Executive of NHS England Simon Stevens for the announcement.
During their time in the hospital, the visitors went behind the scenes in one of GOSH’s cutting-edge laboratories, which is open 24 hours a day to ensure our patients always have access to critical laboratory results. The labs the Chancellor, Secretary of State and Mayor visited form part of the NIHR Great Ormond Street BRC (Biomedical Research Centre), the only research centre of its kind specialising in paediatrics.
The Chancellor also met patients and staff on Bear ward. There he met Evie, two, who was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy in April after tests showed the left ventricle of her heart was enlarged and weak. Evie has spent the last six months at GOSH on a Berlin Heart, a machine that replicates the heart’s function whilst she waits on the list for a heart transplant. GOSH is the largest paediatric centre for cardiac surgery in the UK and one of the largest paediatric heart transplant centres in the world.
Dr Peter Steer, Chief Executive of GOSH said: "Strong research programmes in hospitals are pivotal in discovering new treatments and cures for children now and in the future. It is great news that the next wave of BRC funding was announced today. We are very proud of the research we do at our hospital and were delighted to show the Chancellor, the Secretary of State for Health, the Mayor of London and the Chief Executive of NHS England our top class research facilities and introduce some of our very special young patients.”
David Goldblatt, Director of BRC and Director of Research at GOSH said: “We are very pleased with the announcement of the government’s increased investment in biomedical research in the UK. Here at GOSH, it will enable us to continue to translate our research activities into treatments and potential cures for patients with rare and complex conditions from across the UK.”
The Chancellor’s visit to the hospital comes after he recently announced that every pound raised by the Independent and Evening Standard’s Give to GOSH appeal will be matched by the UK Treasury. The appeal is raising money to support the creation of a new specialist unit helping children with heart failure and help fund vital research programmes to find cures and treatments for children with rare diseases. It will also help support the patient and family welfare programme at the hospital and fund the Louis Dundas Centre for Children’s Palliative Care, for patients who have life-limiting or life-threatening conditions.