The Sight and Sound Centre
Help us build a new Sight and Sound Centre at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), designed to transform the hospital experience for children with hearing and sight loss.
Why do we need a new centre?
We all sense the world around us differently. But for children with sight and hearing loss, it can be an overwhelming and frightening place.
At Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), the busy, noisy and bright main entrance can be hard to navigate, and finding the way to clinics can be difficult, with lots of signage and multiple check-in desks. The current waiting area layout makes it hard to communicate by lip reading or sign language, and the noise levels can make verbal conversation impossible.
The existing facilities at GOSH don’t offer enough dedicated rooms for the ophthalmology and audiology teams – staff are forced to move equipment around the corridors and adapt to spaces that aren’t designed for their specialist work.
The complex tests staff carry out require children to be engaged, calm and co-operative, though the existing facilities can make it difficult for staff to gather the important information they need to assess, support or treat each child.
Children and young people with hearing and sight loss, like 12-year-old Louis (pictured above), are the largest group of outpatients to visit GOSH, with around 8,000 patients seen each year. These young patients have complex and rare conditions, and they may need to visit multiple specialists from many teams, including Audiology and Ophthalmology.
The new centre
Set to open in 2020, the new GOSH Sight and Sound Centre supported by Premier Inn will be the UK’s first dedicated facility for children with sight and hearing loss.
We need to raise £25 million to cover the cost of the centre, and fundraising is already off to an incredible start, with a £10 million pledge from our partner Premier Inn and Restaurants.
The centre is designed specifically to support the needs of children with sensory loss, like 14-year-old Paris (below), who was fitted with a cochlear implant at GOSH to aid her hearing.
In one dedicated building, the centre will house specialist outpatient facilities for the Audiology and Ophthalmology departments, with a carefully designed layout that means children won't need to navigate confusing hospital corridors during their visit. It will include state-of-the-art soundproofed booths for hearing tests, an eye imaging suite, a dispensing opticians and other testing facilities.
Children with sight and hearing loss were involved in designing the centre, helping to create a welcoming, comfortable environment that is fully accessible and easy to navigate. Features include a new welcoming arrival zone, artworks with sensory elements and a garden with plants that children can touch and smell.
The carefully crafted interior aims to create a sense of homeliness, helping to relax children before, during and after their outpatient appointments. This will help clinical teams carry out sensitive hearing and sight tests more quickly and effectively, with the co-operation of the child.
Helping our patients
Help us transform the hospital experience for children with sight and hearing loss. You can donate below, or alternatively contact the charity team to find out more about how you could help.