Why we need to redevelop

Great Ormond Street Hospital is battling with buildings that are nearing the end of their useful lives and must urgently be replaced.

Many of our inpatient wards, housed in a building built in the 1930s, are becoming increasingly unsuitable for the treatment of seriously ill children.

In order to maintain and advance our position as one of the world’s leading centres for paediatric care and research, we desperately need to upgrade our oldest buildings and create additional space to allow more children to be treated.

Without this redevelopment, our patients will struggle to see the benefits of advances in technology and treatments. Our ambitious four-phase redevelopment programme aims to rebuild two thirds of the hospital site over a 20-year period.

Inconvenient, cramped wards

A bedroom on the old Victoria Ward
A bedroom on the old Victoria Ward
We need to replace inconvenient, cramped wards with new facilities where parents can sleep alongside their child in comfort and where children can leave their beds to eat their lunch in a separate room or visit a playroom.

New facilities will allow us to:

  • Redesign how we work, giving a better, more flexible, convenient and comfortable service for our patients and their families. 
  • Treat more children. 
  • Give our researchers and clinical staff the resources they need to develop new treatments.

We know how important it is to care for sick children and their families in suitable and comfortable surroundings.

We want to do everything possible to help them cope with what can inevitably be a stressful and traumatic experience, and there can be no better care and reassurance than for a child to know their parent is right beside them. The new wards will allow more parents to stay with their children while they are going through treatment.

Increase in patient visits

The old Southwood building balconies
The old Southwood building balconies
There are many reasons that demand for our services is growing. These include:

  • The recent drive in the NHS to concentrate specialist services into fewer centres of excellence, to improve their long-term safety and quality.
  • Scientific advances mean we can do more for very sick patients or those with very complex conditions. This is excellent news for these children and their families but it does increase demand for certain services.
  • An increase in the number of children, particularly in London and south-east England where a large number of our patients come from.

We aim to accommodate this increased demand through our ongoing redevelopment plans. Phase 2 alone will allow us to treat up to 20 per cent more children.