Archbishop Desmond Tutu visits Great Ormond Street Hospital

Archbishop Tutu with Grainne

The Most Reverend Desmond M Tutu visited staff, patients and families at Great Ormond Street Hospital today, Friday 31 January 2014.

During the visit, the Archbishop met children and families on Koala, a neurosciences ward, and Bear ward, which cares for children with cardiac conditions.

The Archbishop also visited the hospital's chapel, St Christopher's, and was introduced to members of the multi-faith chaplaincy team which provides support and spiritual care for families. The grade II listed chapel, built in 1875, offers children, families and staff a place for prayer and contemplation at the heart of the hospital.

The Most Reverend Desmond M Tutu said: "I was very impressed with the dedication of the staff and their warmth and friendliness. Institutions can be cold, but it was clear that this is a wonderful place to be for children - you could almost smell the warmth in the air. In many ways it is a happy place."

Baroness Blackstone, the chair of Great Ormond Street Hospital, said: "It was a pleasure and privilege to welcome Archbishop Tutu on his first visit to the hospital. Through his charm and compassion he lit up every area in the hospital that he visited. We hope to welcome him back on another occasion and work with the South African hospital where he is the patron."