Important information

Child on Caterpillar GOSH

Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) sees hundreds of patients every day, so we have some guidelines in place to keep everyone safe and secure. If you have any questions about this information, please let us know.

Privacy and Dignity 

We do everything we can to protect the privacy and dignity of your child during their stay at GOSH.

Your child will be allocated a bed according to how their physical, psychological and social needs are best met, while taking into consideration the needs of other children and young people on the ward at the time.

We know there may be times when you are likely to feel frustrated or upset. During these situations we will listen and help you find the right person to discuss your concerns. We do not tolerate any kind of threatening behaviour towards staff, patients or other family members.

You are responsible for the supervision, safety and behaviour of your child and any siblings.

Your doctor and the team of healthcare professionals caring for your child keeps a record of their health, treatment and care, and relevant family background. This helps the team care for your child. Having incomplete or incorrect details about you or your child can cause problems, so we ask that you keep all details up-to-date.

You have the right to stop us from using your child’s information in ways that you are not happy with. Please let us know if you have any concerns. You have the right to access your child’s medical record to see the information that we hold, so please ask if you want to view this.

You may want to take photos of your family within the hospital, but we ask you please be mindful of others who may appear in the photos, and please make sure that you have their permission first. Please do not take photos in theatres, radiology or during treatment.

As a famous hospital, there are times were filming and photography takes place in the hospital. You will not be featured unless you have specifically been asked and consented. We also have an active social media presence and may ask if you or your family would like to participate. You will be asked to fill in a consent form, which details the ways the images and information may be used. You are not required to take part, but please ask staff if you have any questions or concerns. 

How to escalate concerns and give feedback

It is very important that patients and families feel confident and excellent care is provided.

If you have any concerns, please notify the nurse in charge of the ward as soon as possible, as it is easier to resolve issues at the time of occurrence. If the matter is not resolved to your complete satisfaction, please ask to speak to the ward manager.

If you feel that your concerns have still not been addressed, please ask to speak to the Matron, Head of Nursing or General Manager. You can also take any concerns or comments to Pals.

You will asked to complete our Friends and Family’s card, which is an excellent opportunity to provide feedback on the care and treatment your child received at GOSH. We use the information gathered to improve our services.

Making comments or raising concerns will not affect your child’s care in any way, now or in the future. We regard any feedback about our services as an opportunity to learn in order to help us improve.

Security and Fire

All members of staff will always be wearing an identity badge. If someone not wearing a badge approaches your child, please check with a member of staff. Please view our useful uniform guide to understand the uniforms you can expect to see around the hospital. 

if you have any security concerns, please contact our security team on extension 5999. Our security guards are on duty within the hospital 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They are here to protect our patients, families and staff.

Please check with ward staff before using any personal electrical equipment as it must be tested by a qualified member of staff to ensure its safe operation prior to use.

All clinical buildings have a strict no smoking policy. Smoking in enclosed public areas is banned in the UK and is not allowed anywhere on GOSH property, including near entrances and any outside covered area.

It is also essential that;

  • Candles and incense sticks are never used, and fire doors must not be wedged open.
  • Should you suspect a fire, locate and press your nearest Red Break glass.

All parts of the hospital are protected by a very sensitive fire alarm system. In the event of the fire alarm sounding continuously, it is essential that you:

  • Immediately stop what you are doing and follow the instructions of hospital staff.
  • All clinical members of staff are trained in the evacuation of the ward and will inform you of the actions required.
  • If you are on the ward, please remain calm and follow the instructions from the nurse in charge.
  • If you are elsewhere in the hospital, please remain where you are and follow staff directions. Do not return to the ward. 

Teaching and research

GOSH is a teaching hospital, so we may ask your permission for trainee doctors, nurses and other professionals to be present when your child is being treated. They may also help care for your child, although always under the supervision of a trained member of staff. If you are not comfortable with this, please speak to a member of staff.

We work closely with our research partner, the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health. We may ask you if you want to take part in research while at GOSH, but this is entirely voluntary. Staff may ask if you are happy for a left-over sample to be used for research. This will only be done with your consent, and staff will be happy to answer any of your questions.

All research at GOSH has been approved by an independent research ethics committee.

Safety measures during COVID-19

Our doctors and infection control specialists have been working together closely and listening carefully to national guidance to ensure we can provide your child with the care they need at GOSH safely.

If you are due to visit GOSH and you, or your child, is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or you think you may have come into close contact with someone affected, please call your child’s speciality team for support before visiting the hospital. Please do not go to your GP or pharmacist – stay at home and use the NHS 111 online service at for urgent medical advice.

If you are coming to GOSH, there are some guidelines and behaviours we’re asking families to follow, both before your visit and while you’re at the hospital. These are an important part of the measures we’ve put in place to keep everyone at the hospital – patients, families, our staff – as safe as possible.

Before your visit, we recommend that you watch our family-friendly animation at to meet Otto the Octopus and learn about the four ways you can help us reduce the spread of infection. T

When you visit GOSH, you may notice that things look or run slightly differently than previously. These steps have been put in place to keep everyone at GOSH as safe as possible. Things may continue to change as we respond to the latest guidance, but we will always contact you if there are any major changes to your child’s appointment, admission or procedure.

When you arrive at one of our main entrances, only one adult will be allowed to enter the hospital, or two adults if your child is here for an overnight stay (see details above). Unfortunately, no siblings will be able to visit. Where possible, our GOSH Guides will then take you to the ward or give you directions. If other family members must travel with you to GOSH, they will need to wait outside. We ask that they follow social distancing guidelines and stay two metres away from other people in the area.

We’ll provide face masks for you to wear at all times while you’re at GOSH, unless you’re at your child’s bedside, or eating or drinking. Your child may also be asked to wear a mask when they move around the hospital. This is in line with the latest national guidance. We will provide masks for you and your child, but if your child isn’t able to wear one, for example if they’re very young, that’s fine. When wearing a mask, make sure it covers your nose, mouth and chin. Try not to touch it while it’s on. Take it off using the loops and clean your hands after you throw it away.

We may need to test your child for COVID-19, even if they do not have symptoms. The test involves collecting a bit of mucus from their nose and/or throat, using a small tube or cotton bud. It might be a little uncomfortable and make them cough or sneeze. This will help us ensure we keep you, your child and everyone else at GOSH as safe as possible. You can find out exactly what’s involved at

You may notice other changes as you move around the hospital, for example one-way systems and new waiting area layouts. These changes are helping us to reopen services safely and we appreciate your support in making sure everyone follows the new guidance.

Our staff will keep a careful eye on waiting areas and wards, and may ask you to wait somewhere else if it’s becoming difficult to keep everyone safely spaced.

If you feel it is critical for your child to be accompanied by additional carers, please contact your clinical team to discuss your child’s needs directly.

If your child is likely to be staying at GOSH for more than a week, you can nominate another carer to swap with you after seven days, to make sure you get some rest. Speak to your clinical team to find out how this would work and what the nominated carer needs to know.

If your child is coming to GOSH for a planned admission, you can find everything you need to know before you arrive at

If you’re coming to GOSH for an outpatient appointment, you should arrive no more than ten minutes before your child’s appointment time. This will help us make sure waiting areas don’t get too crowded. For everything else you need to know before your outpatient appointment, please read our special guidance at

If you have any questions or concerns about your upcoming trip to GOSH, please contact the PALS team on 020 7829 7862 or or your clinical team via MyGOSH at