Children and young people come to Safari Day Care for a clinic appointment, medications, tests or procedures and go home the same day.
Safari consists of 16 beds and four individual cubicles (available for patients who are potentially infectious to others). Each child receiving treatment lasting over an hour will be given one of these beds.
There are three treatment rooms where the nurses are based and where the patients’ treatment will commence, and is open from 07.30 to 19.30, Monday to Friday.
Who you will meet
The ward is staffed by nurses, doctors, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, pharmacists, play specialists, health care assistants, housekeepers and administrators.
In addition, Doctors from all specialties can visit the ward, as well as psychologists, physiotherapists and social workers.
If you would like to speak to any of these professionals, please ask one of the nurses to arrange this for you. We cannot guarantee that they will be free to visit straight away as they also operate in other parts of the hospital.
Please note that Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) is also a teaching hospital so you will see student nurses and doctors completing their training but they will be supervised at all times by a qualified member of staff.
The following members of staff will be available to help you during your stay on the ward:
- Matron: Mary Foo-Cabellero
- Ward Manager: Emma Gilbert
- Play Specialist: Alanna Rudd
Conditions we treat
You can learn more about our clinical specialties by visiting:
Find out more about Safari Day Care by watching our short video below.
A video transcript is also available.
Staying with your child
You are a valued member of your child‘s healthcare team and we encourage you to take part in his or her care as much as possible while in hospital.
We ask that you bring with you any medications that your child is receiving. A Clinical Nurse Specialist will be able to go through the medicines with you and check that you have a sufficient supply before leaving.
Some procedures under general anaesthetic take place in a dedicated theatre on Safari, whilst others take place in other theatres within the hospital.
Privacy and dignity
We do everything we can 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 while 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.
As part of our progress towards protecting your child’s dignity, we have introduced a new type of theatre gown. This provides unrestricted access for our nurses and doctors while keeping your child covered up and comfortable at all times.
Security and fire
For security reasons, the doors to Safari Ward are kept locked. Please ring the bell and when asked, state who you are and the name of the child you have come to visit.
All members of staff must wear an identity badge at all times. If someone not wearing an identity badge approaches you or your child at any time, please check with a member of staff. If you are at all worried, please call security on extension 5999.
Our security guards are on duty in the hospital 24-hours a day, seven days week. They are here to protect all our staff, patients and visitors and do regular patrols for all the buildings. Remember if you see anything out of the ordinary, ask a member of staff to contact security. Try not to bring valuable items to the hospital, as we cannot accept responsibility for the loss of or damage to any personal belongings.
All parts of the hospital site are protected by a very sensitive fire alarm system. If you are on the ward when the fire alarm sounds continuously, please remain calm and follow the instructions from the nurse in charge. If you are elsewhere in the hospital, please remain where you are and follow the instructions from a member of staff. Do not return to the ward until the area is declared safe by the hospital fire team.
Smoking is not allowed anywhere on GOSH property, which includes inside any of the buildings or areas nearby including entrances. Please do not smoke in our main entrance or near hospital buildings, as we will ask you to move elsewhere.
Visiting a patient at GOSH
We know that having visitors can make things seem more ‘normal’ for our patients. However, we have to have a balance between people visiting and our staff being able to care for our patients.
Please note that some wards, particularly intensive care units and wards where children have immune problems, have stricter guidelines than others so if you are unsure, please ask to speak to the nurse in charge.
Who can visit?
Parents and siblings are welcome to visit at any time, but we would ask that you do not come as a big group as space is limited within the bays. Other visitors are also welcome.
Please note that one parent has to be present while other people are visiting or they have to give written permission for visitors while they are not there. If there is any confusion about who can visit a child, we will always give priority to people with ‘parental responsibility’ for the patient.
Our patients’ safety is our utmost concern and if a parent is not present and they have not given permission for visitors, we can and will refuse entry to the ward.
If your child is isolated for any reason, we will limit the number of visitors to prevent the spread of infection. Please make sure that all visitors wash their hands with soap and water before they enter or when they leave a child’s bed space.
What can I bring?
You are welcome to bring presents for our patients but please be aware of some restrictions.
- Latex (stretchy rubber) balloons are not allowed, as some of our patients have life threatening latex allergy. Foil balloons do not cause these problems so you are welcome to bring these.
- Flowers - water in the vase can develop a bacterium that can cause infection in children.
- Some materials on certain wards ie fluffy/fleece blankets. Please check with the nurse.
- Please check with the nurse before you bring in food, such as chocolates and sweets, as some of our patients are on restricted diets.
- When you are visiting, please keep the area around the child’s bed tidy so that our nurses can reach the bed easily and quickly.
Please note that the hospital cannot accept responsibility for any loss of or damage to personal property.
Finding the ward
Please ask the child’s parents for the name of the ward. Our reception staff can tell you where the child is staying but will ask you for proof of identity. Volunteers near the main reception desk can escort you to the ward or give you directions.
Occasionally, we have to move children from one ward to another. This happens most often at weekends, when the number of patients is reduced so two or more wards might combine to provide a safe and effective service. Other occasions when we might move a child are when he or she has an infection or is at risk of catching an infection. In these circumstances, we might move them to a single cubicle or, on rare occasions when more than one patient has an infection, close the ward to all visitors.
Please do not visit if you have a cold, cough or an upset stomach, or think you have recently been in contact with someone who has. You should wait until you have not had any symptoms for 48 hours before you visit. Other infectious diseases including chicken pox and measles could be particularly dangerous for some of our patients so please do not visit if you have been in contact with them recently.
When you visit, please wash your hands thoroughly before you enter the ward and use the alcohol gel provided at each ward door. When you leave the patient, please wash your hands again and use alcohol gel. Every member of staff is reminded to wash their hands before visiting a child, so please ask us.
Will you give me information about the patient’s progress?
We will only give this information to the child’s parents, unless they give us permission to tell anyone else. If family and friends want to receive regular updates on a child’s progress, we suggest parents tell one person who is then responsible for telling everyone else. This is often easier to manage than making lots of phone calls every time a child’s condition changes.
GOSH is a smoke-free zone, which means that you cannot smoke anywhere inside hospital property and adjacent areas, such as entrances to hospital buildings.
You can use your mobile phone inside the hospital, but only within designated ‘mobile phone friendly zones’. Using your mobile elsewhere could cause interference with our medical equipment.
We will not tolerate any kind of inappropriate or threatening behaviour – verbal, physical or psychological – and we have a policy to ensure that this is dealt with appropriately. We can and will remove people from GOSH in these circumstances.
If you have any questions about visiting, please telephone the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (Pals) Office before you visit on 020 7829 7862.
Protected Meal Times – GOSH Principle
Infants, children and young people will not be unnecessarily interrupted with either non-essential clinical or non-clinical activities during the advertised ward mealtimes. The protected time will be an hour at both lunch and dinner time. Also, they will not be unnecessarily interrupted when they are eating their meals or bottle/breastfeeding outside of these times where possible. Please see the posters on the ward for these times or ask a member of staff.
If your child wants a meal outside of these times, we have a selection of snacks or we can arrange for snacks to come from the hospital kitchen. Please speak with our housekeeper for this service.
A selection of cereals and toast-making facilities are available from the Parents’ Kitchen for the parents.
If you find that breakfast stock, plates, bowls or cutlery are running low, please inform a member of staff as soon as possible.
Cooked breakfasts are not available on the ward but can be purchased from The Lagoon restaurant located on Level 2 of the Morgan Stanley Clinical Building.
If your child requires a bed for their treatment on Safari, bed linen, blankets and towels are provided. We do not provide nappies for the children on Safari. We have a minimal supply should you need any in an emergency.
Please limit the amount of personal belongings you bring with you into hospital. There is no space on the ward to store any valuable items so we ask that you leave these at home where possible or keep these with you at all times in the hospital.
There is a kitchen on Safari where you can make tea or coffee, heat up snacks using a microwave and store food you have brought in from home in a fridge. Meals for parents and siblings are not provided by the ward but you are welcome to buy food from the hospital shop, Lagoon canteen or local shops.
Please be mindful that there will always be children on Safari who are ‘nil by mouth’ awaiting procedures. There is not a separate area for eating so we ask families to pull the curtains around their bed space if eating in a room with other children who are nil by mouth.
The playroom on Safari is open every day for toys, activities and crafts. We have a play specialist on Safari who will supervise the playroom and activities, but you are still responsible for watching your child, particularly when the play specialist is elsewhere. If siblings are visiting, you are responsible for their behaviour at all times. If your child has to stay in bed or is in isolation, you can borrow toys, games and DVDs from the playroom.
The play specialist is available to help with distraction for procedures in both outpatients and daycare.
Internet Wi-Fi access is available for parents. Please ask a member of staff for information.
Mobile phones can be used in the cubicle, the parents’ room and the corridor outside the ward. Using them elsewhere can interfere with our medical equipment, and can also be disruptive to other families. You can use your mobile phone around the hospital but only in designated mobile-friendly zones.