Providing patient and family support

At Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) we care 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.

We need your help to support these vital projects, helping to make life as ‘normal’ as possible for families while their children are in hospital, often for weeks or months at a time.

How patient and family support helps

Money raised by The Independent and Evening Standard Appeal will fund a wide range of patient and family support projects. Some examples of projects include:

Play service

For a child, boredom is one of the worst things about being in hospital. The older a child gets, the more they feel that they are missing out on what is going on outside of hospital. For some children, missing out on things like play can have a real and lasting impact on their lives. Play can also help children and young people deal with fears or worries about hospital, their illness or treatment. We fund dedicated play specialists and play workers who design activities for children to aid their treatment, recovery and understanding of their illness and make their time in hospital as stress-free as possible.

With your help we also create spaces for children to play and families to spend time in with each other – including play rooms on every ward, an activity centre for children and siblings and outside spaces and gardens to provide a break from their hospital rooms.

Parent and family accommodation

To receive the specialised medical care that they need, our young patients can be in hospital for weeks or even months at a time.

More than half of our patients live outside of London, and many are hours away from home. This distance places enormous stress on parents who are juggling the care of other children, as well as the financial pressures of taking time off work. Thanks to your support, GOSH accommodates about 1,000 parents each week, so that parents – and sometimes siblings - can stay close to their children.

Chaplaincy and spiritual care

We help provide spiritual and religious support to patients, families and staff at GOSH. GOSH treats some of the sickest children from across the UK and sometimes they come to us as a last resort, having exhausted other treatment options.

The families of the patients at GOSH go through the worst and most stressful time imaginable, so the Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care team provide support to all of them, in accordance with their personal beliefs. This includes supporting families with specific faiths as well as families who have no formal religion, in whatever way they need.

Financial support, advice and assistance – The financial pressures placed on families whose children are at GOSH can be huge. Parents may have to give up work, or the family may have to stay away from their home. We have many projects that support families through this time and try to make their life as easy as possible. Support is available via the Patient Advice and Liaison Service, the hospital’s own Citizens Advice Bureau and the provision of family assistance vouchers for families in financial need.

There are few greater challenges for a parent than when their child is ill. Providing welfare and support for families and staff is incredibly important as it allows everyone to concentrate on what matters most – caring for the patients.

Give to Gosh

Donate now to help Great Ormond Street Hospital be an extraordinary place for the patients and families who so desperately need it.