Whether your child is coming into Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) as an inpatient or a day case, this information will help you prepare and explain what you can expect during your stay.

Pre-admission assessment appointments

This is an outpatient appointment where you will be able to discuss your child’s planned operation, test or procedure with the team before coming in to hospital for your admission. Your child will also have various tests and investigations carried out during this appointment.

Preparing for a planned operation, test or procedure before coming in to hospital, avoids delays and reduces the risk of cancellation. The results of any tests and investigations are available in plenty of time and can also be re-checked if they are not within the normal range.

The appointment is also useful if your child is apprehensive about any aspect of the hospital stay. Our play specialists can help prepare your child, as can other members of the team. We can also start to make plans for after the operation. For instance, if you need any equipment or supplies, these can be arranged beforehand.

Another benefit of the clinic is that your child will be able to be admitted on the day of the operation, test or procedure, rather than the night before. However, if your child needs special preparation, like bowel preparation, he or she may still need to come in to hospital the day before.

When you receive your admission letter

On the day before you are due to come in, please ring the ward named in your admission letter to confirm that you will still be able to attend.

Please tell the ward staff if you or your child has been in contact with an infectious disease like chicken pox or measles, so we can decide whether this will affect your child's admission.

If your admission letter gives the last times your child can eat or drink before a test or operation, please follow these exactly, otherwise your child's test or operation may need to be delayed or even cancelled.

When you arrive at the hospital

Please report to the ward named in your admission letter. All our wards and departments are accessible to wheelchair users. 

Please hand all your child’s medicines to the nurse for safekeeping, but please remember to take them home with you when you leave GOSH.

Parent bed on ward

Settling in to the ward

A nurse will show you around the ward and fill out some forms with you. We will also check your child’s height, weight, temperature, pulse and blood pressure.

Your nurse will also make sure your child is as comfortable as possible, asking about favourite foods, bedtime, favourite games and any special needs.

Same sex accommodation

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.

Meeting the ward doctor

A doctor will carry out a physical examination of your child, talk to you about their treatment and answer any questions. In some departments, this will be carried out by a nurse practitioner.

If your child needs tests such as x-rays or blood tests, the ward staff will direct you to where these take place or come with you to the right department.

If your child has come to a pre-admission clinic, these tests may already have been done.

Ward rounds and handovers

Medical staff visit each patient every day to make decisions about their care. This is called a ‘ward round’. The exact time may vary but the nurses will tell you when it happens on your ward.

Your child’s consultant may not be at every ward round but we can assure you that the consultant is kept fully informed of your child’s progress. If you would like to speak to your child’s consultant, please ask the nurses to arrange this, as the consultant may not be free to visit immediately, particularly if they are in clinic or the operating theatre.

There are two shifts of nurses working each day, a day shift and a night shift. The shifts change over at 7.45am and 7.45pm. At these times, nursing staff hand over information about your child’s progress to the next shift.