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Support Services

At Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) our multidisciplinary teams work to support and care for your child and the family as a whole unit. All our patients will be seen by lots of different clinicians and teams to help ensure that they get the best possible care and support.

Find out more about our Allied Health Professionals who may support your child on the ward and other support services that you may want to use during your time at GOSH.

Our physiotherapy and occupational therapy teams support lots of patients across our wards. If your consultant thinks that your child may benefit from the service, they will refer them directly to the relevant team. If you have any questions about physiotherapy or occupational therapy, please ask your consultant. 

Parents are encouraged to attend their child’s sessions as this will help with their progress.

Physiotherapy:

Physiotherapy aims to help treat children and young people with physical difficulties as well as providing support for families and carers.

There are two dedicated physiotherapists across Bumblebee and Butterfly Wards, who offer respiratory physiotherapy or physiotherapy to treat conditions which impact on physical development. This includes treating issues with airway clearance devices; and issues surrounding activity and ability to participate in play, learning and socialising.

When treating younger children, our physiotherapists focus on key positions which aid development, like rolling, sitting, standing and walking. While when treating older children, our physiotherapists focus on strengthening, balance and active participation.

The session may happen in your room or the playroom on the ward, in the physiotherapy gym, hydrotherapy pool or outsides in the park.

Occupational Therapy:

There are two dedicated occupation therapists who assess children’s development and rehabilitation. Such needs include attention, cognition, fine motor, play and daily life skills (like washing, dressing and toileting).

Our occupational therapists also assess children’s equipment needs, including positioning for seating / wheelchairs, pressure relieving cushions, bath seats, shower chairs, splinting, hoist and slings and sleep equipment. They also help in hand splinting, stretches, exercises and functional activities to treat and prevent contractures, and to improve strength and develop function use.

Our team of paediatric clinical psychologists are experienced with working with families from around the world; they are culturally-aware and have experience with patients from all faiths. They work closely with other members of child’s multi-disciplinary team to ensure each child and family’s needs are identified and supported.

All the clinical psychologists have doctoral level and specialised training in:

  • Child development and assessment of cognition, learning and memory and how these are affected by medical conditions and treatments
  • Assessment of children and families in distress and recommending appropriate interventions
  • Targeted and individualised therapeutic interventions for a broad range of presenting concerns
  • Working with the support systems around the child – e.g. medical teams, families and schools – to build resilience and enhance emotional well-being

The service is split into three areas:

  • Assessment: Assessing behaviour and emotions, developmental stage and learning difficulties, and how a child may be coping in a hospital stay
  • Treatment: both inpatients and outpatients, trouble sticking to treatment schedule, difficult decisions, impact of illness or disability
  • Consultation: Help and advice

This service is always available should you, a sibling or your child need it. For a referral, please talk to a doctor or nurse.

Dietitians are qualified health professionals that assess, diagnose and treat dietary and nutritional problems at an individual or public health level. They use the most up to date research on food, health and disease which they translate into practical guidance to enable people to make appropriate lifestyle and food choices.

Dietitians help children who have a condition where a special diet can be used as treatment. The dietitian will assess children carefully, to identify the most appropriate dietary management.

Your consultant will refer you for dietitian support if they think your child will benefit from the service. For more information, please speak to your nurse or doctor. 

Speech and language therapists work with children who have difficulties with speech, or with eating, drinking and swallowing.

Your consultant will refer you for support if they think your child will benefit from the service. For more information please speak to your nurse or doctor. 

Our friendly and highly skilled Play Team provide specialised therapeutic play to help patients cope with their diagnosis, treatments and procedures. For instance, the team use distraction techniques to engage and distract children before and during blood tests, so that they have a more comfortable experience

The Play Team can be found in every ward and outpatient department, where there is also a play facility stocked with books, toys and games.

We provide a 24-hour telephone interpreting support service for all languages. We have an in-house Arabic interpreting team who provide an interpretation and translation service for our patient’s and their families. They are based on our private and international wards and will help you settle in.

Interpreting hours on our private and international wards:

8.00am - 8.00pm Monday-Friday

8.30am - 7.00pm Saturday 

8.30am - 6.30pm Sunday (and bank holidays)

Our multi-faith chaplaincy team offers round-the-clock spiritual, religious and pastoral care to staff, families and children of all faiths or none. The hospital has a Muslim chaplaincy service and can also arrange for local religious leaders to visit. As well as a 24 hour on-call service, chaplains visit wards and departments on request.

As well as St Christopher’s Chapel, we have a Muslim Prayer Room, Shabbat room and multi-faith room which are available for families to use daily. Services are held in the chapel each weekday, to which all are welcome.

Friday prayers for Muslim families and staff are led by our Arabic Patient Liaison Manager.

During Ramadan, additional space is provided for prayer and extra food provisions provided during the night.

Weekly prayers and services

Monday to Fridays at 10.30am – short prayers for the hospital in St Christopher's Chapel

Wednesdays at 12.30pm – Holy Communion in St Christopher's Chapel

Fridays at 1pm – Jumah Prayers in the Muslim Prayer Room

Weekly coffee morning

The chaplaincy team hosts a drop-in coffee morning for families and staff every Tuesday from 10.30am–12.30pm, with help from volunteers from The Mothers' Union. These are informal and welcoming events providing support and conversation outside the ward setting, aided by coffee and home-made cakes. Coffee mornings take place in the foyer of St Christopher's Chapel.

The chaplaincy team can be contacted on +44 (0)20 7813 8323.

St Christopher’s Chapel can be found on Level 2 of the Variety Club Building.

Muslim Prayer Room and Quiet Room can be found on Level 3 of the Southwood Building.

Our Shabbat Room where our Jewish families can eat, pray and relax on the Sabbath is signposted from the main Chaplaincy noticeboard. Please contact us if you need details of how to access our Shabbat Room.

The Social Work Service is a key team within Clinical Support Services at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).

The Social work services includes Senior Practitioners, Social Workers and Family Support Officers all of whom offer a direct service to children and families, both inpatients and outpatients. In addition, qualified social workers and senior practitioners offer advice and consultation to colleagues at GOSH on social and child protection matters and help deliver training on Safeguarding.

Our aim is to make things less stressful for you and your child while you are at GOSH. We can:

  • talk to you and your child if you are worried.
  • provide support, advice and guidance to help you cope with day-to-day issues.
  • speak to other hospital staff on your behalf.
  • talk to community services about arranging help at home for when your child leaves hospital.
  • support your other children if they are worried about their brother or sister who is ill.
  • support your child in coping with their illness.
  • talk to staff both at GOSH and in your local area so that everyone understands your child’s needs.

The Pals office is available for you to talk through any concerns or worries as well as ask for any advice. They are open from 10am-5pm Monday to Friday. You can contact Pals on extension 7862 or email them at pals@gosh.nhs.uk.

The Pals office is in the main reception area.

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