Daily routines

We have lots of different wards at GOSH – each specialising in a different type of medicine or surgery – but what to expect day to day is fairly similar between each of them (except for intensive care units).

Wakey wakey

When your child has woken up, breakfast is available in the ward kitchen. We have a selection of cereals and toast, as well as fruit juice, coffee and tea. If your child would prefer a cooked breakfast, you can buy this from the Lagoon Restaurant on the ground floor and bring it back to the ward.

We prefer the parent staying with your child to be up and dressed and the bed or chair put away by 8.30am each morning so the team can come to see you as soon as possible after handover. Handover is when one shift of nurses hands over to the next shift – this happens at 7.45am and 7.45pm. At these times, nursing staff pass on information about your child's progress to the next shift.

Ward rounds

Our doctors visit each patient every day to make decisions about their care. This is called a 'ward round'. The exact time may vary but the nurses will tell you when it happens on your ward.

Your child's consultant may not be at every ward round but we can assure you that they are kept fully informed of your child's progress. If you would like to speak to your child's consultant, please ask the nurses to arrange this, as the consultant may not be free to visit straightaway, particularly if they are in clinic or the operating theatre.

Food and drink for your child

All children's food, except for special diets from the Dietetics department, are provided by the main kitchen between 7am and 7pm, every day.

The wards have a range of ready-made infant formula for babies who are not being breast fed, so you can continue to feed your baby with the same brand as you use at home. If your child is on a special feed or diet, the milk kitchen or special diet kitchen will prepare these.

Your child can order lunch and supper from the menu, which is in a folder beside each bed. The kitchen provides freshly made healthy meals, lighter snack-type meals, salads and sandwiches. The main menu is influenced by a range of cultural backgrounds, but we also offer vegan, vegetarian, halal and kosher food too - just write it on the menu form and give it to the housekeeper. For pudding, there are freshly made puddings, as well as yoghurts, ice cream and fruit.

The vast majority of food served at GOSH is cooked from fresh, using top quality ingredients that are organic where possible. We have reduced the amount of processed food and are increasing the number of healthy options available.

Lunch is delivered to the ward between 11.45am and 12.15pm and supper from 4.45pm and 5.15pm. If your child wants a meal outside of the regular serving hours, they can choose something from the Croc Menu, which includes hot and cold meals. There are a range of snacks in the ward kitchen if your child is peckish in between meals.


Depending on how long your child is staying at GOSH and the reason for their stay, we expect all children and young people (Year 1 to Year 13) to go down to our schoolroom on level 2 of the Southwood Building on weekdays.

They will work with others of their own age as part of a group – we have specialist teachers for all core curriculum areas as well as visitors and activities coming to the school regularly. If your child is likely to be in hospital for more than a few days it would be very helpful if you could bring details of any schoolwork (coursework or homework) that they need to do.

If your child cannot come down to the schoolroom, a teacher can visit your child on the ward. Priority for ward teaching is for children and young people who have frequent and/or long stays at GOSH.

For more information or advice about your child's schooling in general, please contact the school on 020 7813 8269, or visit the GOSH School pages.


The Play service at GOSH supports opportunities for children and young people to play while they are receiving healthcare. The team are experts in specialised and therapeutic play for children and young people staying on our wards.

We have taken the decision to close play areas during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but have a variety of ways children and young people can still access play services. The Play team has prepared activity packs including single use crafts, protected in sealed bags, to use in their own room or bay. Play Specialist support for distraction is available, as well as a range of sensory toys that are soothing.

If you have any questions about how to access the support of our Play team, please check the sign on the ward’s play room door, speak to your ward’s Play Specialist, or ask the Nurse in Charge.