About the Louis Dundas Centre

The Louis Dundas Centre at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) is a world-class centre of research, teaching and practice in palliative care for children and young people.

Our vision

The centre is the vision of Ruth and Bruce Dundas, out of the experience of the too short life and death of their son Louis. Their experience highlighted to them the lack of research in palliative care for children and young people, and the desperate need to share knowledge within the UK and worldwide.

The Louis Dundas Centre was established in 2009 to fulfil this aim of creating a worldwide resource for palliative care, ensuring that high-quality support and information is universally accessible to help all children with life-limiting and life-threatening illnesses.

With the help of many generous supporters, the centre has created the foundations of an exceptional academic unit, led by the True Colours Chair in Palliative Care for Children and Young People, Professor Myra Bluebond-Langner, and has expanded the clinical team at the hospital to ensure more children and families are receiving the support they need.

What is children's palliative care?

Children's palliative care embraces physical, emotional, social and spiritual aspects of wellbeing, and focuses on enhancing the quality of life for the child and support for their family.

It requires the skills of a multi-professional team and involves a number of elements including: 

  • Pain and symptom management to keep severe pain under control.
  • Advance care planning to support families in a timely manner.
  • Continuity of care for the child in what can be a complex care system including their GP, local hospital, community nursing team, hospice and school.
  • Psychological support for both the patient and family.
  • End-of-life care including provisions for the child to die in their own home if they choose.
  • Bereavement support for the child’s family during their illness and following their death.

What does the centre do?

The centre is a unique enterprise that not only delivers the highest standards of palliative care and models best practices, but also plays a vital role in the development of an evidence base for paediatric palliative care and in the dissemination of the results of research through publication, education and training.

Working alongside the centre’s clinical professionals are a team of researchers who collate information from patients and their families, and undertake a research programme that seeks to improve and advance clinical practice and policy.