This is a highly specialised ward for children aged seven to 15 with mental health problems.
The unit offers a therapeutic environment with a structured programme. There are lots of opportunities for a child to put their feelings into words, as well as educational and leisure activities.
This structure creates a safe framework for individual, family and group work. The unit is open seven days a week but most children return home at weekends. The usual length of admission is around five months.
The Mildred Creak Unit (MCU) is a ten bed ward on Level 5 of the Frontage Building, a few moments from Great Ormond Street Hospital's main reception.
Who you will meet
The team caring for your child is multidisciplinary, using specialists from different backgrounds.
- child and adolescent psychiatrists
- therapeutic care workers
- family therapists
- social workers
- child and adolescent psychotherapists
Other members of staff from within Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) are also called in if needed, such as paediatric specialists.
The following members of staff will be available to help you during your stay on the ward:
- Dr Jon Goldin, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist
Siobhan Lalor-McTague Head of Nursing
Una McCrann, Lead Nurse
Caroline Piers, Ward Sister
To find out more about some of our staff, please see the list below:
Conditions we treat
You can learn more about our clinical specialties by visiting:
As well as weekends at home, staying in contact with your child is, of course, very important. Family and friends normally visit one or two days each week (usually on a Tuesday or Wednesday evening).
Your child can also telephone when each day’s activities are finished.
Weekend visiting starts at 10am on both days and ends at 8pm on Saturday and 5pm on Sunday. Your core team will discuss with you how best to manage the visiting hours.
For security reasons, and like all the other wards in the hospital, the door is swipe access only.
Please ring the bell and a member of staff will open the door. The ward can be exited by pushing the green button next to the door.
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 given a bedroom 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.
Of the ward’s 10 beds, four are individual rooms and three are shared rooms. Children either sleep in single rooms or share a room with another child of the same gender and a similar age.
Please let us know if your child has a preference for a single or shared room, but please note that there may be some circumstances where requests can not be met.
Your child's safety will be our utmost priority at all times.
Regulations on the ward
The following are not allowed on the Mildred Creak Unit:
- Internet-enabled devices and devices which have a camera. Children have supervised access to the internet via hospital laptops at designated times.
- Latex balloons – due to potential allergic reactions.
If any of your visitors have been in 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.
You are a valued member of your child’s healthcare team and we encourage you to be involved in your child‘s care while in hospital.
Although there are no facilities for parents to stay overnight at the MCU, you are welcome to visit your child and you will receive daily feedback from the nursing staff on how your child’s day has been.
At weekends there is the option for parents to stay in the patient hotel at Weston House if your child is not well enough to go home.
Each child and family has regular family sessions with the family therapist and other members of the team, which is an important part of their treatment.
Parents are also invited to regular meetings with the consultant, the child and adolescent psychiatrist and the core team manager for your child, which gives you a chance to ask questions and be updated about your child’s treatment.
MCU Parent Involvement
We invite parents to eat with their child on the unit when visiting, particularly at the beginning of an admission.
Parent involvement is crucial throughout the course of the admission in order to help their child make progress. We have weekly family therapy sessions.
As the admission progresses it may be more helpful to have time off the unit at mealtimes for your child to practice meal management, socialising and being outside, for example.
Telephones and support
Mobile phones can only be used in designated areas in the hospital. Using them elsewhere can interfere with our medical equipment.
If you have mobility difficulties please ring the voluntary services organiser on 020 7829 8861 before your visit to make any necessary arrangements.
Also, for parents on income support, family credit, job seekers allowance or disability working allowance, fare reimbursements are available from the Family Services Department.
Opening hours are 9.30am to 12pm and 1pm to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Our social worker can provide you with advice and information as needed.
The Mildred Creak Unit has a lounge area with comfy chairs, a TV, a DVD player, books, board games and a Wii.
There is a dining room where staff and patients (and parents when visiting) eat together.
The children attend the well-resourced hospital school, usually twice a day, and we try to make good use of our roof garden and the local parks.