Patient and family support

We believe in caring not only for the child but for the whole family. This care comes in many forms, from financial advice and spiritual counselling, to the provision of accommodation for parents. 

How can your support help?

  • by funding accommodation for parents to stay overnight

  • by paying towards a parent’s bed in our new building 

  • by funding meals for breast feeding mothers 

  • by contributing towards our multi-faith chaplaincy 

  • by supporting patient families needing help with expenses

Creating a relaxing environment for children at GOSH

A wall decorated with painted animals, from GO Create!
The hospital’s GO Create! arts programme aims to create friendly and engaging surroundings throughout the GOSH site. The programme actively engages with children around the hospital in a range of interactive workshops – including art, music and dance – to give them a chance to express themselves, relax with other children and take their minds off tests and treatments.

The overwhelming majority of families surveyed said taking part in an arts activity “significantly improved” their experience of hospital, demonstrating the value of the GO Create! programme in improving wellbeing.

GO Create! artists also work with children at the hospital to cover many of the hospital walls in colourful artworks, which help to soften its clinical aspect and make it a more pleasant place for children to be. A total of 4,769 children participated in these workshops throughout the year.

Bringing a smile to children’s faces

Young patients with severe skin conditions that significantly affect their appearance can have an extremely difficult time growing up. To tackle this issue, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity provided funding to place Fiona Coldwell – a dedicated social worker/Changing Faces practitioner – in the Dermatology team.

Fiona devises practical strategies for children to help them deal with their condition and helps them improve their confidence and overall wellbeing.  A total of 80 families received valuable support from this service in the year 2014/15.

Fiona’s role is funded in partnership with the charity Changing Faces and Top Right Group.

“It really is inspiring to see a family pull together through some of the hardest moments of their lives and I feel privileged to be able to be a part of their experience.”

Fiona Coldwell

Maya and Sylwia's story

Haemodialysis treatment is a life-saving treatment but also has a big impact on the lives of patients and their families. Children must come to hospital at least three times a week to be dialysed, meaning schoolwork can suffer and parents and carers can struggle with work and childcare for siblings. Arranging holidays can be extremely challenging and often, rarely achieved.

Maya and her mum Sylwia

Home haemodialysis can bring a huge improvement to a family’s quality of life as it frees them from this routine, enabling kidney patients to have treatment at home.

Eight-year-old Maya has end-stage kidney failure and is awaiting a kidney transplant. Before joining the programme, Maya and her mum, Sylwia, were travelling to GOSH three days a week for over an hour each way. But thanks to new technology, Maya is now undergoing dialysis treatment at home.

Mum Sylwia says: “Maya missed so much at school because of the dialysis and hospital stays. She can go to school five days a week now. The teachers are remarking that she has improved so much."

Within weeks, Sylwia also noticed an improvement in Maya’s health and general wellbeing: “She never felt better on dialysis. This form of dialysis is more gentle and it seems to be more effective. We can now take the machine and go on holidays like everyone else.”