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Adjusting to life as lockdown eases: information for families

This year, 2020, will certainly be remembered as one of the strangest years any of us will experience in our lifetimes. Dealing with worry about coronavirus (COVID-19), concerns for family and friends, issues with money and work, as well as the practicalities of several months staying at home, has been hard for lots of us.

However, when lockdown is easing and we can start to leave our homes again, go back to school and work, start meeting family and friends albeit at a distance, our worries can change and we may feel just as nervous as before.  It can be difficult to cope with the ‘outside world’ and various rules about what we can do and where, as well as not knowing when rules might change again. This can be particularly hard for children and young people so the Patient Experience team has compiled this information to help everyone adjust to the ‘new normal’.

Halo vest system

The halo vest system protects the cervical spine (the bones in the neck) from any damaging movement t the bones that allows the bones to heal following injury or surgery. This page from Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) explains the halo vest system and how to care for your child when you return home.

Bowel incontinence

This page from Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) explains why bowel incontinence (encopresis or soiling) can occur in toilet-trained children and young people. It also gives suggestions for treatment and strategies to try at home to improve the situation.

Lynsey Stronach

For children on haemodialysis, coping with the demands of the therapy can be a time consuming and exhaustive process. Required to visit the hospital three times a week for four hours at a time, school work and holidays are disrupted and a great strain can be placed on the whole family. Thankfully, due to your generosity, the hospital now employs a full time home haemodialysis nurse, Lynsey Stronach.

Your child is having a lumbar puncture

A lumbar puncture is a medical procedure carried out to access the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). CSF is a watery liquid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord, acting as a ‘cushion’. It also supplies nutrients to the brain. This page from Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) explains about the lumbar puncture procedure, what to expect when your child has one and how to look after them at home. 


An ileostomy is a surgically formed opening in the ileum, which is the last part of the small bowel before it connects onto the large bowel (colon). The ileum is brought to the surface of the abdomen as an opening called a stoma. Watery diarrhoea passes through the stoma and is collected in a small plastic bag, called an ileostomy bag. An ileostomy can be temporary or permanent. This page from Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) explains the operation to create the ileostomy, what to expect when your child is recovering and what to look out for once you get home.

Speech and language ideas while waiting for your baby’s cleft palate surgery

If you are waiting for your child’s palate to be repaired, you might be wondering if this will affect their speech. The good news is there are plenty of things you can do at home to help with speech and language development during this time as you wait for surgery – this information sheet from the North Thames Cleft Lip and Palate team at Great Ormond Street Hospital and Broomfield Hospital gives you a few suggestions.