Referring a patient to the Children's Epilepsy Surgery Service (CESS)

Find information about how to refer a patient to the Children’s Epilepsy Surgery Service (CESS) at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).Please see our admission criteria for information about the diagnoses treated by the CESS at GOSH.

How to refer a patient to CESS

As a tertiary care hospital, all children who attend GOSH must be referred via local hospital consultants, community paediatricians or paediatric neurologists. We are unable to accept direct referrals from parents or from GPs.

To make a referral to the CESS, please write to:

Epilepsy Coordinator
Epilepsy Unit
Level 10, Main Nurses Building
Great Ormond Street Hospital
Great Ormond Street

Tel: 0207 405 9200 Ext: 5594

Email: - Secure email address

Referral guidelines for making a referral

referral guidelines (0 bytes)

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The following minimum information is needed:

Patient details:

  • Name and details of patient including NHS number (if applicable), current GP and lead consultant
  • 18-week pathway information including date referral decision made
  • Whether an interpreter for the child or family is required
  • Please include, if relevant, details about social services involvement and parental responsibility 

Clinical information:

  • Reason for referral: epilepsy surgery consideration; other such as diagnostic, prognostic, or second opinion 
  • Seizure history: age of onset, first seizure, subsequent seizures, current seizures, history of status epilepticus
  • Current and previous treatment
  • Information about developmental progress and impact of seizures on education
  • Past medical history
  • Family history
  • Investigation history
  • Clinical examination findings 


  • Relevant EEG/video-EEG telemetry reports, including the most recent
  • Neuro-imaging/MRI (via IEP or on CD-ROM) 
We cannot process referrals until MRI images and EEG reports have been received
Your referral will be discussed within five working days at the CESS preliminary review MDT. We will write to you to let you know your referral has been accepted and if we need any further information in advance of this.

How to get advice for patients known to GOSH

If you know the consultant the patient is under the care of, then please call their PA or named clinical nurse specialist via the hospital switchboard on 020 7405 9200.

Urgent queries are dealt with by the on-call team, not by a patient’s named consultant.

For urgent referrals please call the switchboard on 020 7405 9200 and request the neurology on-call team. Referrals must be discussed at consultant to consultant level only. 

How to get advice for patients not known to GOSH

For urgent referrals please call the switchboard on 020 7405 9200 and request the neurology on-call team. Referrals must be discussed at consultant to consultant level only. Urgent referrals are considered those where patients are requiring acute inpatient transfer.

If requesting advice regarding patient management, this can only be discussed at consultant to consultant level via the neurology on-call team via the switchboard on 020 7405 9200.

Please note we will only review brain/spine scans in patients being considered for transfer to GOSH. For a radiology opinion, scans should be sent to the Radiology department via IEP, accompanied by a formal referral letter. The neuroradiology fax number is 020 7829 8665.

For non-urgent referrals please fax a referral letter with the relevant clinical details and clinical questions, as per our referral guidelines above. Referrals fax number: 020 7829 7923.

Neurology clinical queries policy (0 bytes)

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Services and facilities available

GOSH has had a programme for surgery for treating epilepsy in children since 1992. Since 2012, the NHS has made epilepsy surgery a nationally commissioned service and in England there are four centres designated as part of the CESS. The recognised centres are Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool/Manchester, and GOSH.

GOSH has the facilities needed for the investigations, tests and treatment your patient may need. These facilities are specifically for children and the specialists who use them have many years’ experience of children with epilepsy. We work closely with University College London Institute of Child Health (UCL ICH), with many of the team working in both GOSH and UCL ICH. GOSH CESS team also works in collaboration with King’s Health Partners (KHP) and Young Epilepsy (YE).


All general feedback and suggestions can be directed to:

Garry Vince
Epilepsy Surgery Coordinator

Telephone number: 020 7405 9200 ext. 5594