Alligator Ward

Alligator Ward is one of our Cardiac Intensive Care and High Dependency Units for children and young people needing close monitoring and nursing care perhaps due to their heart condition or following an operation. 

There are 21 beds on Alligator Ward, nine of which are intensive care beds with the rest as high dependency (HDU) beds. These are arranged in a mix of bays and cubicles. 

Children may be admitted as an emergency directly to an intensive care bed in Alligator ward or they may be transferred there after an operation. When children are getting better so no longer need the same level of support, they will ‘step down’ from an intensive care bed to a high dependency bed. Later, they will usually transfer to Bear Ward to continue recovering before being discharged or transferred to their local hospital.


Alligator Ward is on level 4 of the new Premier Inn Clinical Building (PICB), part of the Mittal Children’s Medical Centre at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Who you will meet

Alligator Ward is primarily run by our highly qualified nursing team, but also includes consultants, clinical nurse specialist, physiotherapists, healthcare assistants, play specialists, psychologists, dietitians and housekeeping staff. 

  • Matron – Carolyn Akyil
  • Lead Nurse – Barbara Childs

Ward Information

Security and fire

For security reasons, the doors to Alligator 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. 

Mobile phones

Please be considerate when using your mobile phone, switching it off during consultations and keeping it on silent when in a clinical area. 

Respect for others

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.

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. If you have any questions about visiting, please telephone the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (Pals) Office before you visit on 020 7829 7862.

Who can visit?

Before you come into Alligator Ward, please call from the entrance to check if you can enter using the wall intercom.

Please wash your hands and take off your coat and hang it up before going to the bedside. There are hooks by the entrance to Alligator Ward.

Parents can visit at any time. Other family and friends should only visit between 3.30pm and 7.30pm on weekdays and between 12 midday and 7.30pm on weekends and Bank Holidays.

Ward rounds are done twice a day, between 8.30am to 10.30am and 4pm to 6pm every day. Parents are welcome to stay during ward rounds but will be updated by the Intensive Care team afterwards.

Please limit the number of visitors to a maximum of two at any one time. We ask that you are present when other visitors arrive to see your child. Your child’s siblings are welcome to visit but an adult must be present to supervise them.

Anyone with an infection should NOT visit. If in doubt, please ask your child’s bedside nurse.

You are welcome to bring presents for patients but please be aware of some restrictions.

  • Latex (stretchy rubber) balloons are not allowed, as some 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 such as 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.


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.

Meals are not provided for parents, but food and drink can be bought from various places within the hospital and local area. You may want to bring in your own snacks and drinks. Parents are welcome to use the ward kitchen outside of patient mealtimes to prepare these.

For mothers who wish to breastfeed, we provide a dedicated room. We also provide the equipment to 'express' breast milk so your child can be fed through a nasogastric tube, if necessary.

More information

For more information about facilities available for parents, family members, visitors and patients in the hospital, including the Chapel and prayer rooms, hospital school, activity centre and information on where you can eat or find facilities such as launderettes, please visit our Facilities A-Z page.