On Thursday 21 February 2013, HRH The Prince of Wales visited staff, patients and supporters at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust (GOSH).
During the visit, The Prince was introduced to children and families on the oncology wards including those that had used the complementary therapy suite. The Prince also met neurology patients and Professor Cross, holder of the Prince of Wales’s Chair for Childhood Epilepsy, who gave him a tour of the neurology ward.
Great Ormond Street Hospital Chief Executive Jan Filochowski welcomed the Prince and accompanied him on his tour of the hospital.
He said: “We were delighted that The Prince of Wales was able to visit Great Ormond Street Hospital and meet so many of our patients and the staff that care for them. It was fantastic to have the opportunity to show him round our hospital and in particular showcase our new state-of-the-art neurology ward where some of the UK’s most complex epilepsy patients are looked after by the biggest neurosciences team in the country.”
On Elephant and Lion oncology wards The Prince met key nursing staff and six-year-old Joseph Black and his parents Pippa and Jeremy, from London. Joseph, who was wearing a crown that he had made with his play worker especially for the occasion, said The Prince was “very kind”. “He asked me about my Airfix kit and said he’d loved making them when he was a little boy. He said that he used to get the glue all over his fingers and I said that I never did!”
Pippa Black commented: “The Prince asked us about our routine and how we keep a sense of normality to life. He asked Joe if he did his school work and I was proud to say that he does!” The Prince was also shown the Complementary Therapy Suite, where children and young people on the ward are now being offered massage as part of their care.
Jenni Hallman, the Complementary Therapy Nurse Specialist said: “The Complementary Therapy Programme at GOSH, which is funded by charitable support, is only in its infancy but is already getting really positive feedback from our patients and their parents. The Prince was very interested to hear about how the children are benefiting from the therapy, including ways it’s helping them to relax, sleep and how it can often be a distraction from the pain of their treatment.”
Eleven-year-old Marcus Henson is one of the patients on the ward who regularly works with the Complementary Therapy Nurse Specialist. He said: “The Prince was really warm and friendly. He seemed genuinely interested in me and my family and asked lots of questions about my treatment.”
Koala Ward, which houses neurosciences, is based in the Morgan Stanley Clinical Building which first opened in June 2012 as part of the Mittal Children’s Medical Centre. On the visit Professor Helen Cross explained to The Prince the benefits of the new 24-bedded area which had brought neurology and neurosurgery bed spaces together for the first time. The tour took in facilities for monitoring brain activity of children with complex epilepsy.
Professor Cross said: “It was a privilege to meet The Prince again and show him first-hand how neurology patients are benefiting from vastly improved facilities within the new clinical building and most particularly, here at Europe’s foremost referral centre for epilepsy. The Prince is very interested in our epilepsy service and how we can continue to improve outcomes for patients with this condition.”
On the ward The Prince met eight-year-old epilepsy patient Katie Tuffin and her mother Emma, from Cambridgeshire. The Prince sat down with Katie and rolled some Play-Doh.
The Prince is no stranger to Great Ormond Street Hospital. In 2006 he visited the then recently opened Octav Botnar Wing. His Royal Highness was also a patron of the ‘Wishing Well Appeal’ which was launched in 1987 to raise money for much-needed redevelopment.
The Prince of Wales was also treated at the hospital as a boy when he was found to be suffering from appendicitis.
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Notes to Editors
The Prince of Wales
• The Prince of Wales advocates integrated approaches to healthcare which combine both conventional and complementary therapies to treat the ‘whole person’. The Prince is Patron of over 30 healthcare organisations including six cancer charities.
• For more information visit www.princeofwales.gov.uk
Great Ormond Street Hospital
• Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) has the UK’s widest range of health services for children on one site and is the country’s only academic Biomedical Research Centre specialising in paediatrics.
• Together with our research partner, the UCL Institute of Child Health (ICH), we form the UK’s only academic biomedical research centre specialising in paediatrics and are Europe’s largest academic centre for research and education in children’s health and disease.
• Since its formation in 1852, the hospital has been dedicated to children’s healthcare and to finding new and better ways to treat childhood illnesses. Each year, there are over 200,000 patient visits to the hospital. Most of the children we care for are referred from other hospitals throughout the UK and overseas. There are more than 50 different clinical specialties at GOSH.
• GOSH is also at the forefront of paediatric training in the UK. We train more children’s nurses than any other hospital. We also play a leading role in training paediatric doctors.
Our inpatient cancer wards
• Elephant and Lion Wards are for cancer in-patients and provide a total of 31 single cubicles (17 on Elephant / 14 on Lion). The wards are exclusively used by those patients needing the most intensive and long-stay treatment.
• They are part of The Reuben Foundation Children’s Cancer Centre opened at Great Ormond Street Hospital in 2008. This saw the refurbishment of the previous cancer wards generously funded by charitable donations including very significant support from the Reuben Foundation.
• The creation of the Centre allowed the hospital to almost double its activity in haematology/oncology and, in partnership with UCLH, become the largest paediatric cancer centre in Europe
Complementary Therapy Programme
• In 2010, with the support of the Barcapel Foundation, a complementary therapy programme was established at the hospital.
• The Foundation’s support enabled the hospital to employ Jenni Hallman as the hospital’s first Complementary Therapy Nurse Specialist. Therapies currently offered are purely massage based.
• Since it began offering the service, more than 600 treatments have been provided to more than 250 children with benefits including distraction and relaxation and in one instance a reduction in pain relief drugs.
• In September 2011, the Sunflower Jam Charity held a charity concert at the Royal Albert Hall to raise funds for integrated medicine. The proceeds were used to refurbish a room on Lion Ward to create a dedicated Complementary Therapy Suite where Jenni Hallman is now based.
• The new room provides a child-friendly and relaxing space away from a child’s hospital bed and unrelated to their daily treatment regime
Our neurology ward
• Koala ward provides 24 beds for the GOSH neurosciences team. The ward opened in 2012, combining the neurology and neurosurgery bed spaces for the first time.
• The complex epilepsy unit at GOSH is the largest in the UK, and one of the largest in Europe. It specifically reviews and cares for children with epilepsy that have not responded to medication. A large epilepsy surgery programme has been in progress since 1990 with the team are performing four times the amount of epilepsy surgeries than five years ago.
• GOSH has recently been recognised as the lead of four children’s epilepsy surgery centres in England, to be funded on a national level. Professor Helen Cross and neurosurgeon, Mr William Harkness have been appointed clinical advisors to the process.
• The Prince of Wales’s Chair for Childhood Epilepsy is funded through charitable donations to Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity.