International and Private Patients Service

Great Ormond Street Hospital is an international centre of excellence and is recognised as one of the few truly world-class hospitals for children.

Great Ormond Street Hospital has been a pioneer in paediatrics ever since it admitted its first patients in 1852 and continues to be a global leader in the treatment of sick children. The hospital's many world-firsts and groundbreaking medical developments give new hope to children and families around the world.

In the United Kingdom (UK), under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Great Ormond Street Hospital is the leading research hospital for children and has the widest range of children's specialists under one roof.

In partnership with the UCL Institute of Child Health (ICH), we are in the top five research institutions for children in the world and play a key role in training children's health specialists for the future.

Top benchmarks

  • The Children's Hospitals International Executive Forum (CHIEF) is a group of all the world's leading children's hospitals. They rate us as one of the four leading paediatric research hospitals in the world.
  • For the last three years, Great Ormond Street Hospital, together with the ICH, has been in the top five centres in the world for research published.

Being a world leader means having a world-leading team, and at Great Ormond Street Hospital, some of the top clinical and research experts are working to find new and better ways to treat the children in our care.

In fact, we have more than 50 different clinical specialties, the widest range of any hospital in the UK. This uniquely enables us to diagnose and pioneer treatments for children with highly complex, rare or multiple conditions. We have more than 240,000 patient visits each year and see children ranging in age from newborn babies to 18-year-olds, many of whom have life-limiting or life-threatening conditions.

In the International and Private Patients Service, we treated children from over 90 different countries in 2013/14. More than 17,000 patients (including over 9,000 from the Middle East region) visited the international  divsion for treatment in the same period.

Here are just a few of the reasons that make Great Ormond Street Hospital a world leader:

  • It is the largest centre for children with heart problems in the UK and one of the largest centres for children's heart transplants in the world.
  • It is the largest centre for children needing brain surgery in the UK - for example, the largest epilepsy surgery centre in Europe.
  • With the University College London Hospital (UCLH), it is the third largest centre for children with cancer/leukaemia in the western world and the largest in Europe.
  • It has the largest range of children's specialties in one institution in the UK.
  • It is the country's only specialist biomedical research centre for paediatrics.
  • It is the leading centre in the world for gene therapy in children.
  • It is the leading centre in Europe for the management of conjoined twins (so-called, 'Siamese twins').
  • It has trained many of the children's cardiac surgeons currently practising in the United States.

Our teams tackle the most complex conditions, including kidney transplants, childhood cancers, conjoined twins, epilepsy surgery, brain tumours, infectious diseases, cleft lip and palate and immunodeficiency disorders.

Most of our patients require expert help from at least two specialist teams; many patients need help from five specialist teams or more. Our doctors and nurses are uniquely qualified and trained to treat unusual and severe disorders that sometimes require pioneering treatment not available in other hospitals, for example bone marrow transplants and gene therapy.

Here are a few of the hospital's recent research achievements:

  • New techniques for open heart surgery and bone marrow transplants.
  • New drug therapies to treat epilepsy, juvenile arthritis and HIV-AIDS.
  • New developments in keyhole surgery for children.
  • Improved life support techniques for children in intensive care.

Other advances have been made in areas such as pain management and also in the importance of play therapy to prepare a child for procedures and surgery, for example by using distraction therapy for magnetic resonance imaging scans (MRI) instead of anaesthetic.

Involving the patient and family

Breakthroughs and medical expertise are essential to the treatment of our patients, but we also place a great emphasis on the support we provide around the children in our care. Our aim is to provide an open and supportive atmosphere, ensuring that both parents and patients are informed and involved throughout the treatment process.

For this reason, we support parents taking part in their child's care and also encourage older children to participate in certain aspects of their own care. We look beyond a child's medical condition and seek to care for all his or her needs, as well as those of their family. We try to adhere to their routine and meet their cultural, psychological and social needs.

In addition, we see parents as our guests. Their comfort, privacy and peace of mind are important to us. We want to make their stay with us as comfortable and pleasant as we possibly can. They are valued members of their child's healthcare team and their child's safety is our utmost priority at all times.

During your stay with us, you and your child will receive the highest standards of care and attention from our expert team of medical and support staff. We will aim to treat you with respect, trust, concern and openness. In addition, our staff will always make  time to listen and help you.

Where we are

The hospital is located in central London, close to the West End and easily reached by public transport.

Great Ormond Street Hospital International and Private Patients Service is based in the Harris International Patient Centre. This is a state-of-the-art unit where we care for children from overseas requiring specialist treatments unavailable in their own countries, and for private patients from the UK and around the world.