About the Palliative Care service

The Paediatric Palliative Care team at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) was first established in 1986 and was originally known as the Symptom Care team.

It is the lead centre for paediatric palliative care in the North Thames region of London. The multi-professional team work closely with children with life-threatening or life-limiting conditions and their families.

Palliative care is the active, total care of patients at a time when their disease is no longer responsive to curative treatment. It aims to control symptoms and psychological, social and spiritual problems which are felt to be paramount at this time.

The support offered by the team will vary according to the needs of each child and family and we understand that those needs can change with time and the nature of the child's illness.


We provide an outreach service for our families and work closely with colleagues at GOSH and local teams who are involved in the child’s care.

The team also has a dual role as the Oncology Outreach team, offering support for children and families undergoing treatment for different types of childhood cancer.

The oncology outreach clinical nurse specialists meet all the children and families soon after diagnosis and liaise with shared care hospitals and community teams.

We work alongside the wards and day care teams, offering emotional and practical support, giving advice on symptom management and practical issues during the child’s treatment and also if they unfortunately relapse.

We also offer bereavement support for those families whose care we were involved with before the child died. We can arrange local support and specialist help if required. This is in conjunction with the work done by the Bereavement services based here at GOSH.