Patient, family and staff support

Little girl sitting with mum, looking to camera and smiling

Childhood shouldn’t happen in hospital. But if it has to, we’re here to help make it the best it can be.

With your help, we fund support services like in-hospital play specialists to help children process their experiences and prepare for treatment, music therapy, and a spirit-lifting arts and entertainment programme.

We also fund support for families, including free home-from-home accommodation near the hospital and a multifaith chaplaincy service. Because when you’re facing the unimaginable, we know these are the services that make a difference.

And we fund services for staff, so the incredible teams caring for seriously ill children at GOSH can keep doing what they do.

Read on for more information about just a few of the patient, family and staff support services we fund...

The Play team

Serious illness can make it impossible to do all the things that should make childhood so special. But we’re firm believers that kids should still get to be kids, no matter the circumstances.

We’ve funded the Play team at GOSH since 2012. These toy-toting team members use different types of play to make hospital a little bit easier and a lot more fun for patients, siblings and parents.

They also help children prepare for treatment and help ease their worries about being in hospital. For example, they might use a real mask to practice good breathing techniques to reduce anxiety in the anaesthetic room or use medical equipment on a doll to demonstrate inserting a cannula.

Family accommodation

Our free family accommodation is just moments from GOSH, so parents and carers have somewhere close by to lay their heads at night. This reduces some of the stress – and cost – for the families of seriously ill children, who can be by their child’s bedside in minutes, day or night.

Music therapy

We fund the Music Therapy service at GOSH. This involves using music to help children achieve goals such as developing their motor skills, reducing anxiety or increasing their ability to express how they’re feeling.

In 2022-23, the team held more than 800 individual and group music therapy sessions, with impressive results. In fact, 100% of parents surveyed reported an improvement in their child’s mood, and 99% found their child was distracted from pain or discomfort.

Chaplaincy at GOSH

Spiritual care is an important part of holistic health care. It’s a necessity in an environment like GOSH, where religious and spiritual needs are shared by children and young people, their families and carers, and staff.

We fund the multifaith Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care team at GOSH, which provides spiritual, religious and pastoral care for children, families and staff of all faiths and none.

They provide a 24-hour on-call service every day of the year.

“I think people use the chapel as an oasis, a place to find strength, a place to order their thoughts and a place to express some of the raw emotion that they are going through."

Acting Lead Chaplain and Head of Spiritual Care, Dorothy Moore Brooks


One of the ways we make life in hospital a little bit easier and a lot more fun for seriously ill children is by funding GOSH Arts, the hospital’s arts and cultural programme.

The GOSH Arts team commissions artworks within the hospital, manages and cares for the GOSH art collection, and delivers fun events.

In collaboration with artists and other artistic organisations, the team works with children and young people to create artworks and entertainment, lifting the spirits of patients and their families.

Staff support

GOSH has thousands of members of staff, from doctors and nurses to support and administrative teams. We support them, so they can support seriously ill children and their families.

GOSH nurse standing behind reception and smiling to a colleague

We fund subsidised nursery places, so staff have access to affordable childcare while they are caring for children in the hospital. We also fund massage and physiotherapy services to help boost their mental and physical wellbeing.

And we fund the GOSH Learning Academy (GLA), which provides training to drive improvements in paediatric care at GOSH and across the world. It has six priorities:

  • Academic education
  • Apprenticeships
  • Clinical simulation
  • Digital learning
  • Leadership and management
  • Specialty training

Visit our hospital website for more information about patient and family accommodation and our chaplaincy and spiritual care services.