When you arrive at GOSH

We are now re-starting routine admissions to GOSH but have made some changes to how we work to keep everyone safe during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This section explains what to expect when your child has a planned admission to GOSH for the day or a longer stay.

Your child’s admission letter gives details of when you need to come to GOSH and where to go. Please follow these instructions exactly otherwise the admission may be delayed or cancelled.

If your child is ill or has a rash or comes into contact with an infectious disease, do not bring them to GOSH and call the number of your appointment or admission letter for advice.

When you arrive

We’ve put lots of measures in place to keep everyone at GOSH safe, from the layout of waiting areas to starfish floor stickers helping everyone keep a safe distance.

Our GOSH guides are still based in the main reception area to greet you and give directions– look out for them in their yellow polo shirts.

We will ask you and your child to use gel sanitiser and – in line with the latest national guidance – that you both wear a face covering while you’re at GOSH. If you don’t have a face covering, we will provide masks for you and your child to wear. We will explain how to put it on and wear it. It’s important that the face covering or mask covers your nose, mouth and chin, and that you don’t touch it while it’s on or hang it around your neck. You don’t have to wear a face covering while you’re in your child’s cubicle but you should wear one elsewhere in the ward and hospital.

We are also advising staff, patients and families to keep a safe two-metre distance from others, practise good hand hygiene, and avoid touching their face to stop germs from spreading. Learn more about our safety measures.

Daily life on the ward

When you arrive on the ward, we will check in your child as usual, take them to their bed and do some admission checks. Your nurse may be wearing various types of personal protective equipment (PPE), like an apron, gloves and a face mask. They may also wear a visor depending on which checks are needed. This helps us reduce the spread of infection, keeping staff, patients and family members safe.

If your child needs to go to other areas of the hospital, for instance, radiology for a scan, we will arrange this. Otherwise, please limit how much you move around the hospital. Please do not visit other wards.

We will provide a mask for you to wear when you leave your child’s bed space or room. In line with the latest national guidance, everyone should wear a face covering or mask while inside the hospital.

When you remove the mask, you should take it off using the loops, throw it away in an orange clinical bin and wash or sanitise your hands.

Please do not take your mask home. They are for use at the hospital only and should be disposed of before leaving GOSH, to help reduce the spread of infection.

When you arrive at your ward, please ring the doorbell to let us know you have arrived and use the hand sanitiser gel or washbasins before you come onto the ward. We will open the door as quickly as we can, but please be aware this may not be for a minute or two if we are very busy with other children.

Settling in to the ward

A member of the ward team will show you around the ward and fill out some forms with you. We will also check your child's height, weight, temperature, pulse and blood pressure.

Your nurse will also make sure your child is as comfortable as possible, asking about favourite foods, bedtime, favourite games and any special needs. Please hand all your child's medicines to the nurse for safekeeping, but please remember to take them home with you when you leave GOSH.

Meeting the ward doctor

A doctor will then carry out a physical examination of your child, talk to you about their treatment and answer any questions. In some departments, this will be carried out by a nurse practitioner.

If your child needs tests such as x-rays or blood tests, the ward staff will direct you to where these take place or come with you to the right department. If your child has come to a pre-admission clinic, these tests may already have been done.