The following services and facilities are available at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) for children and young people with learning disabilities. Please let us know whether your child has any additional needs in advance so that we can make preparations.
What we mean by learning or intellectual disability
- Has significant difficulty in ‘intellectual functioning’, such as reasoning, problem solving, abstract thinking, and academic learning or learning from experience compared to the expectations for their age.
- Has significant difficulty with ‘adaptive functioning’. This means that the child will not meet the expected standards of independence and responsibility for his or her age. This might include difficulties in being able to feed or dress themselves, or not being able to manage money independently when they get older. Without ongoing support, the difficulties are likely to affect their activities of daily life, such as being able to communicate with others, participate in social events or gain independence. These difficulties occur in different environments, such as at home, school and during leisure time.
- These difficulties began during the developmental period.
Services at GOSH for children with a learning disability
If you have concerns about your child’s communication skills, we would encourage you to discuss these with your family doctor (GP) or Hospital Consultant. A referral to your local Speech and Language Therapy Service is usually the most appropriate place to access advice and treatment. Speech and Language Therapists who work within GOSH are here to help children with new communication difficulties that are diagnosed while in hospital and to see children as outpatients who have complex communication needs that cannot be easily managed by local services. Referral by your local Paediatrician or Hospital Consultant is required. Our Speech and Language Therapists work with children and young people with learning disabilities who have co-occurring medical conditions – further information about the service is available on our website.
Mental health and behaviour that challenges
Who can help?
- Your named nurse, if your child is admitted to a ward at GOSH
- The Learning Disability Team at Great Ormond Street Hospital aims to support people with learning disabilities and their families/carers when coming to the hospital. The learning disability team supports children and young people and their families/carers to ensure that they are involved in the decision making process around the care and treatment that they receive at GOSH. The team:
- Dr Kate Oulton- Consultant Nurse for learning disabilities
- Amy Radford - Clinical Nurse Specialist in learning disabilities (working days: Monday- Wednesday)
- Harriet Ostler- Clinical Nurse Specialist in learning disabilities (working day: Thursday)
- We also have a number of learning disability trained nurses working in clinical areas across the hospital
You can contact the team on 0207 813 8465 or email Learning.Disability@gosh.nhs.uk
- Neurodisability team – This specialist team can see children for further assessment of development and learning, and communication. Referrals to the team need to be made by your local Paediatrician or therapy team. For further details see our website.
- The Hospital School – Our School team aims to provide personalised, challenging, enjoyable and innovative learning opportunities within the framework of the National Curriculum. Teachers will also ensure home schools are contacted at the earliest opportunity to obtain information to support planning. For further details, please visit their website or call 020 7813 8269
- Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service – The department provides highly specialised assessment and treatment of mental and behaviour disorders in both children and adolescents. Please visit their website or call 020 7829 8679.
- Paediatric Psychology team – The team aims to provide an assessment, treatment and consultation service to children, their families and the professionals involved in the child's care, to help the child and family cope with acute and chronic illness/disability, and prevent associated psychological difficulties. Visit their website or call 020 7829 8896.