Play information for parents and visitors

Welcome to the Play department at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH). 

Each day, the team of Health Play Specialists at GOSH come into contact with around 200-300 children. The Play team are funded by Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity.

The play team helps patients and families in different ways:

Preparing for procedures: Play specialists help children prepare for life-saving treatment and surgery using techniques such as role play, drawing and practicing procedures.

Bringing fun into the hospital: Playworkers and Play Specialists work closely with patients and families to provide lots of fun activities tailored to the interests of each child. This helps patients maintain some normality and ensure children don't miss out on being children.

Supporting the whole family: Playworkers and Health Play Specialists often form strong relationship with children by maintaining playfulness through treatment and can ensure that complicated medical information is communicated in a child friendly way, this can alleviate the parents' worries of explaining complicated illnesses to their child. The play team can also provide families with a much-needed break.

Speeding up recovery: Research shows that play can improve a child or young person’s recovery time. We think this is because doing a little of what you want to do and enjoy has a positive effect on their ability to cope with stress and to heal.

Find out more about us and what we do.

Information for families about the role of play and the service we provide.

Learn who's who in the Play team.

Information on how to apply for a student placement.

Find out more about Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity's Summer play appeal.