Hospital facilities and services

Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) is a special place and we want to make sure your experience here with your child is as good as it can be. As well as providing excellent clinical care, we also want to support you with various non-clinical facilities and services outlined here.

Please be aware that some of our facilities and services are operating differently during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We are gradually starting to increase the number of staff onsite so please contact each department for details of how to access their services at the moment.

You can also find out more about our facilities by watching our hospital virtual tour. If you have any questions during your visit or stay, contact the Pals team in main reception, call 020 7829 7862 or email pals@gosh.nhs.uk

Visiting a patient at GOSH

We want to protect everyone at GOSH from infection, so if any visitors are showing symptoms of illness (including coronavirus (COVID-19), chicken pox or diarrhoea/vomiting) or have been in contact with someone showing symptoms, please do not visit GOSH until you have been confirmed as free from infection.

We will ask everyone coming in to GOSH to use hand sanitiser gel and wear a mask. You do not need to wear the mask when you are by your child's bed space, but please keep it on whenever you are elsewhere. This includes communal areas of the ward. 

Both parents are welcome to visit their child on the ward at any time – please make sure you use the hand sanitiser or washbasins outside the ward before you enter. We will do our best to answer the doorbell as quickly as possible but be aware this may take some time if we are with another child. Please do not ‘tailgate’ or let anyone ‘tailgate’ after you when the door is opened – we want to keep everyone safe. Remember, all members of staff should wear a photo identification badge at all times.

Unfortunately, during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, brothers and sisters (as well as other family and friends) cannot visit. We have to reduce the number of people within the hospital so we can stop the spread of infection – as the situation with coronavirus changes, we will update our visiting policies.

Toilets and changing facilities

There are toilets for visitors throughout the hospital. We also have various baby change and disabled toilets in each building. We also have several changing places for older children and young people in the Rhino Outpatients and by the Social Work department. The changing places have a hoist (please bring your own loop hoist) and/or changing table – please make sure you use the equipment safely. It is not staffed but there is a 24-hour emergency call bell. Cleaning wipes are inside the changing place – please clean down the equipment and surfaces afterwards ready for the next person.

Somewhere to stay while your child is an inpatient

Sometimes, one parent can stay alongside their child on the ward, usually on a recliner chair or fold out bed. There isn’t room to do this on some wards – and on others, such as intensive care units, this would not be safe – so we guarantee that we will find somewhere to stay for one parent of each child staying at GOSH.

If a child or young person is staying on one of our intensive care units, we will offer somewhere to stay for both parents (or two adults). This will usually be in one of our Accommodation Units within or close by to GOSH. When a child no longer needs intensive care, we can only guarantee somewhere to stay for one parent.

Please contact the Accommodation Service at least one week before your child’s admission to arrange for somewhere to stay – 020 7405 9200 extension 5624 or email patient.hotel@gosh.nhs.uk. The office is open on weekdays from 9am to 5pm.

All our Accommodation Units are free to use but we will ask for a small deposit that will be returned to you when you have checked out of the room or bed space. We provide all bed linen, changed regularly.

Find out further information about our Accommodation Units.

Somewhere to stay the night before your child’s admission to a ward

Weston House - parent accommodation external photo

We realise that it can be difficult to get to GOSH early in the morning for an admission, so we can sometimes offer somewhere for you and your child to stay the night before so you only have to go across the road on admission day. This is in our Patient Hotel, across Great Ormond Street from the main hospital.

If you think you might need to stay in the Patient Hotel the night before your child’s admission, please ring the number on your admission letter to see if this is possible. As so many families want to stay in the Patient Hotel, priority is given to families travelling the furthest to GOSH, usually those who live outside the M25.

Eating and drinking at GOSH

When your child is an inpatient, we provide three meals a day – breakfast from the ward kitchen and lunch/dinner delivered to the wards from our main kitchen using heated trolleys. If your child wants a cooked breakfast, you are welcome to buy this in the Lagoon and bring it up to ward. Outside of mealtimes, your child can order from the Croc menu and there is always a variety of snacks and drinks in the ward kitchen.

Parents and visitors will have to get their own food from the Lagoon on the ground floor – this is open every day and opening hours are clearly described outside. During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we prefer you to use a contactless payment card rather than cash. Within the Lagoon, you can buy a hot meal including pudding – there is always a Halal and vegetarian option available – as well as snacks and sandwiches. If you want a Kosher meal, there is a small selection of Kosher sandwiches and snacks available in the chiller – if you want a hot meal, you can order this giving an hour’s notice.

As well as the hot food counter, there is also a coffee shop within the Lagoon – serving barista-made hot drinks, cakes, sandwiches and cookies. The opening times of the coffee shop are also displayed outside – if we are short of staff for any reason, this may change at short notice, but you will always be able to get hot food and there is a self-service hot drink machine as well.

The majority of food served within the Lagoon and Coffee Shop is made in our main kitchen, cooked from scratch using fresh ingredients that are organic if possible. We have reduced the amount of processed food we use and are increasing the number of healthy options available.

We have arranged the tables and chairs within the Lagoon to make sure it’s easier to follow social distancing and keep 2m apart – look out for our octopus signs on the floor. Please don’t move the chairs from table to table and avoid sitting with people outside your household if possible.

The hospital shop is also within the Lagoon – where you can buy newspapers, magazines, toys and games and also GOSH-branded items, such as thermal mugs and hoodies. There is also a small selection of personal care items, such as toothpaste and deodorant. The stock in the shop is always changing, so pop in when you are visiting to see what’s new.

When the Lagoon is closed, there are a number of vending machines in the lobby area, where you can buys hot and cold meals, snacks and drinks.

If you would prefer to buy food from local restaurants and cafes, see our information sheet called Around GOSH for suggestions. It is on display on the information trolleys outside the Pals Office in the main reception area. 

Gardens and green spaces

For a moment’s quiet time and fresh air, visit our onsite gardens – look at the map in main reception for directions and opening times.

Coram’s Fields is a large play area about five minutes’ walk from the hospital. It is open every day from 9am until dusk. Adults can only visit Coram’s Fields if they are accompanied by a child.

Queen Square is at the end of Great Ormond Street and is open during daylight hours.

Washing clothes at GOSH

Launderette

We know that it’s easy to run out of clean clothes when your child is an inpatient for more than a few days. There is a launderette at GOSH for parents to use, on the ground floor of the Main Nurses’ Home building. There are free-to-use washing machines and dryers but you will need to supply your own powder/fabric conditioner – you can buy this from any of the shops in the local area. 

If you prefer not to wait while your laundry is done or the machines are already in use, there are a number of laundrettes close to GOSH – ask at the Pals Office for details.

Cashpoint

There is a cashpoint in the main entrance to the hospital, which accepts most types of bankcards and does not charge a fee. You can also top up your mobile phone credit through the cash point. There are plenty of other cash points in the local area. Please ask at the Pals office (by the main reception) for directions.

Amazon lockers

These are self-service kiosks which are located in the Lagoon and accessible during opening hours. You can use these to receive or return Amazon parcels – go to amazon.co.uk/findalocker and look for the locker called “sand”.

Pharmacy

We are making arrangements to post your child’s medicines to your home via Royal Mail Special Delivery. We will contact you to discuss your child’s specific needs and preferences.

We hope this helps to ensure your child’s medicine supply is not affected in the current situation. As always, please make sure you have at least two weeks’ supply of regular and long-term medicines. If you have moved home recently, please make sure that we have your current address and contact details.

For other medicines and supplies, there are several community pharmacies in the local area.

Religious services

Chapel ceiling GOSH

St Christopher’s Chapel on level 2 of the Variety Club Building is always open. A Muslim prayer room is also available. We also have a Shabbat Room for Jewish families. There is a quiet room not dedicated to any religion or faith too. Details of these and local services are on the Chaplaincy noticeboard. 

Due to the pressure on places and in order to keep everyone safe, we are following social distancing protocols in all our sacred spaces. This means that it is necessary to book for Juma Prayers. We are also asking everyone using our sacred spaces across the hospital to fill in their details on the track and trace forms available.

Internet access and wi-fi

We provide free Wi-Fi access to patients and visitors to enable access to the internet, and this can be accessed on your device using the Wi-Fi connection setting to connect to the GOSH-Guest network and following the simple instructions to self-register with your email address: GOSH guest Wifi instructions (384.67 KB)

Internet access is provided via the London Grid for Learning – an educational network – so content filters are in place to protect children and young people from accessing inappropriate content. Every page visited is logged so that we can contact you if we have any concerns.

Further information is available from ward or reception staff.

Mobile phone

Please be considerate when using your mobile phone, turning it off during consultations and keeping the noise down when children are sleeping nearby.

'Around GOSH' and 'What's On' guides

Information about local shops and services and suggestions for visitor attractions is available from Pals Office. 

You can also check out our page: What's around GOSH?

Interpreters and alternative formats

We can provide interpreting services and written translations into languages other than English. We can also provide written information in alternative formats, such as Easy Read and Large Print. Please ask a member of ward staff or the Pals team for details.

Bedside entertainment

An interactive touchscreen entertainment system is provided by most inpatient beds at GOSH. As well as access to information about GOSH, it also has TV and radio, audiobooks and games, and also access to the internet through the school network. Our bedside entertainment is free to use.

If you have any questions about this, please ask your nurse.

GOSH Arts

The GOSH Arts includes activities ranging from visual art to music to dance. . During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, GOSH Arts is developing remote ways of delivery activities that will appeal to a wide range of cultural backgrounds and age groups. For more information and resources visit the GOSH Arts pages. 

Music therapy

Music Therapist Katya

We have a music therapist at GOSH who can advise you on encouraging your child to enjoy music as well as finding ways to help them express their feelings through music. Ask a member of the Play team for details. 

Sensory equipment

The play team can provide sensory equipment, primarily for children with additional needs but also to create a calming environment for all children and young people. This includes a variety of specialist equipment, including multimedia projectors and fibre-optics. We can bring portable sensory equipment to the bedside.