FAQs about the hospital

If you have any questions that are not answered here or on our other FAQ pages about referring a child or careers, please do not hesitate to contact us. 

Referring a child or young person

You can begin the process of referring a child to our International and Private Care online, on our refer a child for treatment page. You can self-refer to this service – you do not need to be referred by a clinician or hospital. We accept referrals from the UK and overseas. 

If you are looking for more on how to refer a child, funding (insurance, self-paying or sponsored visits) or visas, please refer to our How to get treatment pages. 

Our routes to treatment pages will take you through the entire pre-referral process, step by step.    

We are a private patient unit within GOSH, so we provide care for paying patients both from the UK and overseas.  

We are not an NHS service and our care is not free. As a UK resident, your child would be a private patient and you would need to be able to pay for the care or be covered by medical insurance.  This also means that you do not have to be referred by a doctor or clinician to come to the hospital.  

We are restricted in some of the treatments we can offer UK patients. For more information about this and the referral process for a UK patient, please look on our routes to treatment pages.  

For more information about the NHS hospital at Great Ormond Street please visit their website.  

Most of our patients have complex conditions. We are unable to provide costs before we know more about your child and their unique care requirements.  

For more information about this and other matters around funding and care, please read our how to get treatment pages. 

No, we only treat children from 0-16 years.  

We are a world-renowned paediatric hospital with over 60 specialties and sub-specialties. Our expert consultants frequently treat children with very complex and rare conditions.  

You may like to search our medical conditions page for a specific condition to see if it is listed, however please be aware that this is not an exhaustive list of the conditions we’re able to treat.  

If you contact us with more information and your child’s medical report, we will advise if GOSH is the right hospital for your child.   

If you would like to come and see a specific consultant or team, please let us know when you are completing the online referral form, or when you are in contact with our Referrals Team. We will do our best to make sure you are seen by your requested consultant.   

In some circumstances, a requested consultant may not be able to see you. The Referrals Team will work with your preferred consultant to suggest a suitable alternative.  

Please contact us with more information about your request. Our Referrals Team will advise you on the most appropriate course of action.   

We are unable to offer care free of charge. The nature of most of our patient’s care means that it is complex and very specialised, requiring multiple specialists, equipment, procedures, medicines and care. These all have associated costs that need to be paid.    

The GOSH Charity exists to help support and improve the hospital, and is not used to provide funds for children’s treatment.  

For more information please read our funding page or contact us.  

Coming to GOSH

We understand that families come in all shapes and sizes and that nannies and/or carers are important members of many people’s families.  

Nannies and/or carers are very welcome to come to the hospital and help with the care of your child. We only allow one parent or carer to stay the night, so if the nanny/carer is not the nominated overnight carer, they must respect the ward’s visiting hours.  
Like any visitor, if your nanny/carer develops a cough, cold, diarrhoea, vomiting or rash, it is very important that you inform the nurse in charge before they come to the hospital.  

Within our wards, we provide a bed for one parent or carer to stay the night. Unfortunately, we are not able to provide accommodation for anyone else to stay the overnight although we encourage parents to stay with their children during the day as they would normally, as part of our family-centred care model. 

For information about accommodation in London please see our accommodation page.  

We understand that our families often travel long distances to come to the hospital, and many stay for a significant amount of time.  

The service is unable to provide accommodation for anyone other than the patient and one nominated carer.  

We can provide suggestions for accommodation that is no more than a ten-minute walk from the hospital. These are listed on our accommodation page.

Alternatively, if you let our Referrals Team know your requirements, they will be able to suggest local hotels or rented apartments. You can contact the team on privateinfo@gosh.nhs.uk  

You can find more information about how to get to the hospital on our travelling to the hospital page.  

GOSH has more than one entrance. Unless otherwise advised, come to the Harris International Patient Centre entrance for all appointments and inpatient admissions.  

This entrance can be found via Lamb’s Conduit Street and is the entrance to the Octav Botnar Wing. The reception is found on entry and our receptionists will check you in and direct you to the correct department.   

Please visit our travelling to the hospital page.  

We understand that travelling to another country, especially with a sick child, can be a stressful and worrying time.  

We have created the following pages to help you: 

  • Routes to treatment 
    This page will take you through the entire pre-referral and referral process step by step 

  • Visas 

If you have any questions about specific requirements for your child’s travel, please contact us.  

All of your child’s meals will be provided on the ward. Our children’s menus have been designed in consultation with expert dietitians. We are able to cater for halal, kosher, vegetarian and special diet requirements.  

We also provide a meal for one parent or carer on the ward. This is from the same menu as your child.  

The hospital has its own restaurant and café and there are number of local eateries within a five-minute walk of the hospital.  

For more information please visit our food page.  

We understand that coming to the hospital for the first time can be a daunting prospect. To help you prepare, we have put together a list of items to pack for your visit. 

You can access the list on our what to bring page.  

The hospital and UK National Health System

GOSH is an NHS Foundation Trust. The hospital runs a service for paying patients – International and Private Care. This acts as a private patient unit within an NHS hospital and is subject to the laws and guidelines that have been put in place for NHS private patient units.   

International and Private Care exists to provide additional income to GOSH. With increasing cuts to the NHS, the service provides essential funds that allow the hospital to continue to treat the sickest of children on the NHS from around the UK, as well as funding research into treatments for the benefit of children around the world.  

GOSH treats very sick UK children on the National Health Service (NHS). Within the hospital is International and Private Care (sometimes referred to as the Harris International Centre), a private patient unit.  

International and Private Care is part of the GOSH family, and they are in the same location sharing some of the same facilities and staff.   

GOSH and International and Private Care take great pride in offering children treatment and care all ‘under one roof.’  This means there are times that NHS and private facilities are shared between all patients.   

This shared agreement allows all of the patients in our care to receive the very best of care and treatment, including benefiting from state-of-the-art equipment and care from expert multidisciplinary teams.  

The hospital takes every care to ensure that all patients receive the best care possible, and that care for one patient never adversely affects the care of another.  

GOSH is a tertiary and quaternary hospital. This means we are a super specialist hospital, and as such, we do not have a A&E department. However, we are open 24 hours a day and accept emergency admissions on to our wards when necessary.  

If your child becomes ill before coming to the hospital or after discharge, please visit your local doctor and let the hospital know.  

In an emergency in the UK please call 999 and request an ambulance which will take your child to the closest and most appropriate hospital.  Do not come to GOSH as we cannot treat you without prior arrangement.  


We ask all friends and family, apart from the child's nominated carer, to visit only during the ward's specified visiting hours, and to leave the hospital by 10pm.  

All visitors must clean their hands before entering and leaving the ward, and wash their hands on entering a cubicle. If any family member or visitor develops a cough, cold, diarrhoea, vomiting or rash, it is very important that you inform the nurse in charge before coming to visit.  

We ask you not to bring fresh flowers or latex balloons on the ward for infection control reasons.  

We understand that you may have medical questions after a recent diagnosis, appointment or discharge.  

We recommend that you discuss with your GOSH consultant and team who you should contact if you have a question related to your care.  

It is also a good idea to prepare for appointments by writing a list of questions for your consultant. They will be more than happy to discuss these with you.   

In an emergency, please contact the emergency services (for the UK phone 999). Please do not come to the hospital.  

If you have a question about a medical condition, treatment or medicine and you are not yet under our care, please in the first instance go to your current health provider. In some circumstances, we offer second opinions for patients but you will have to contact our Referrals Team for more details about this service.   

GOSH is a working hospital that treats many very sick patients. We ask that unless you are visiting a family member or friend, or have a child currently in the hospital, you do not visit the hospital. Additional visitors can be a security and infection control risk, and can be upsetting for families currently at the hospital.  

We will be offering an interactive online tour of the hospital on this website in the future, where you will be able to view the hospital facilities on-screen.  

We do offer tours of the hospital as part of our education and training projects for visiting clinicians and institutions. For more information about this please look at our education and training pages or contact us.  

If you would like to visit the hospital with a donation, or offer a service free of charge (such as entertainment), we ask that you please contact us first.  

If you are a press or media agency we ask that you respect the rights and privacy of our families and do not visit the hospital, even if invited by a family or clinician. Please contact us to discuss this in more detail.   

Thank you for considering a donation to the hospital.  

We ask that all donations be directed to our charity, Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity, due to legal reasons. Please do not give cash or gifts to staff at the hospital, as they are unable to accept these.   

To make a donation or learn more about the work of the charity you can visit their website. Please be aware due to infection control reasons there are a number of items that we are unable to accept as donations. You can find a full list of what we can accept here.  

If you would like to specifically offer a donation to International and Private Care please specify that you would like to donate to the Trust Fund SW19 – Great Ormond Street Hospital.  

We welcome families from all over the world to the hospital. English language is not a requirement to receive care at the hospital.  

Our staff are uniquely trained and qualified to work with overseas families, and many of our consultants and staff speak more than one language.  

We have our own Arabic Interpreting team who are on hand to help you settle in, and we can supply the majority of our written information in Arabic. For more information, please view our Interpreting Team page

For all other languages, we have provisions in place to help with interpreting, including additional written information for families.  

The Gulf office is our regional office in Dubai. The office helps patients from, or living in, the Middle East with their transition to the hospital and back home after discharge.  

The Gulf office is not a clinic and cannot provide any medical care.  

For more information please take a look at our Gulf office page.  

Thank you for your feedback. We take all complaints very seriously and are constantly working to improve our service for you and your family.  

If you are currently being treated at the hospital and have a complaint please speak to the nurse in charge in the first instance, as it is easier to resolve issues at the time.  

If the matter has not been resolved to your complete satisfaction, please refer your complaint to the Ward Manager. If you are still concerned, please ask to speak to our head of nursing or general manager.  

If you wish to speak to someone who is outside of the care of your child, or would like to provide a complaint after leaving the hospital, please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (Pals).  

+44(0)7405 9200 ext 7862 

You can also leave feedback via our Friends and Family Test and Parent and Patient surveys, which will be provided to you when you are discharged.  

We do not have healthcare premises anywhere else in the world. 

We do provide visiting consultant programmes to the Middle East, and work with institutions around the world to help improve their healthcare services. As part of this our consultants very occasionally provide follow up treatment to patients in their home country. You can find more information about these visits here.  

Thank you for your interest in contributing to the hospital.  

You can read more about working at GOSH and our vacancies on our work here pages.  

If you are interested in volunteering at the hospital please visit the main hospital’s website and their volunteer pages.  

All media requests should be directed to our PR and Digital agency Hill + Knowlton.  

You can find more information about our PR work and how to contact us on our latest news & press or press enquiries pages.  

We recognise that you will have a lot of questions about your time at GOSH, the answer to some of which may not be on the website.  

If you have any concerns or questions that are not addressed on our website or in our materials, please do not hesitate to contact us.  

If you are a UK medical professional with a question you may like to look at the following areas before contacting us: 

If you are an overseas medical professional with a question you may like to look at the following areas before contacting us: 

If you still have a question, please contact us.

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