Update on the Review into the Gastroenterology Service at Great Ormond Street Hospital

14 Mar 2018, 5:01 p.m.

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This update marks the completion of the final stage of a comprehensive set of reviews that have taken place since 2015, in order to ensure an improved service for our patients.

Please access our previous press release from December 2016 for information about the start of the review process.


In 2015 we commenced a review into the gastroenterology service at GOSH to ensure it provides the highest standards of care to the children, young people and families it looks after. This review was of particular importance to us as we had seen a disappointing and sustained number of complaints about the service we offered.

The initial stage of the review was led by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), who we invited to visit in 2015 to independently assess the service and identify areas for improvement. The RCPCH’s recommendations included improving communications with families, improving administration and enhancing access to psychological support for families. We initiated a programme of work to address these recommendations.

They also recommended we review the care packages of a small group of patients, where there were differences in approach to some complex gastroenterology conditions that prove difficult to diagnose and manage.

We also held a Listening Event, in July 2017, to ensure that the views of our patients and their families were captured as part of our review process.


At the start of the Review we committed to commissioning a follow-up external review to make sure progress was being sustained to address the RCPCH’s original recommendations.

To that end, we invited them to revisit the service in 2017. We are pleased that their findings recognised the journey the department has been on and the progress that has been made since GOSH first invited the College to review the service in 2015.

The reviewers were assured by very good senior clinical and operational leadership, significant improvements in administration of patient communications, clinic organisation and improved team working. We have also seen a fall in the number of issues and complaints raised, and we believe that patients are seeing the tangible benefits of these improvements.

We are aware that there is still room for further improvement, and we have carefully considered the RCPCH’s findings from their revisit, together with what we heard from the Listening Event we held last year.

Patients and families who attended our Listening Event told us they wanted to see better communication and clearer information available, that is easier to understand. The RCPCH reflected similar feedback. To that end we are reviewing and improving the leaflets and web guides for patients and parents to improve their experiences of using the service. We will also be focussing on improving the transition experience for patients as they move from paediatric to adult care.

We also agreed with the RCPCH recommendations that an improved ward environment had to be prioritised. To that end, we have now moved all gastroenterology patients from the unsatisfactory environment in Rainforest Ward and will soon be re-locating them in much better accommodation with new, modern facilities.
We hope this update provides a helpful overview of the steps we have taken – and continue to take - to improve the gastroenterology service.

Should gastroenterology patients and their families have any further questions they can contact our Patient and Advice Liaison Service at Pals@gosh.nhs.uk