Great Ormond Street Hospital

Great Ormond Street


Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust


Great Ormond Street, London WC1N 3JH


020 7829 8812

Unit Policy

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
Level 3 Intensive Care with Neonatal Surgery
We have two nursing shifts on the ward:
• Day shift: 7.45am to 8.15pm
• Night shift: 7.45pm to 8.15am
Both shifts overlap by 30 minutes to allow the nurses to ‘hand over’ your child’s care. There will always be a member of staff available on the ward to answer any questions.
There is a ward round twice a day. Parents are asked to leave during the morning ward round (8.15am-9.00am) but are welcome to remain at the bedside during the afternoon ward round. If you would like to speak to a doctor please let your bedside nurse know. They might not be able to attend immediately, but the nurses will let you know when a doctor will be available.

Great Ormond Street NICU

Squirrel Ward
Level 2 SCBU/HDU Unit
Two nursing shifts on the ward
• Day 07.45-20.15
• Night 19.45-08.15
Shifts overlap to enable nurses to hand over your baby’s care. We have an official ward round once a day, but have doctors available if you have specific questions throughout the day, please ask a member of the nursing staff to contact your team, a doctor may not be able to attend immediately but the nursing team will let you know when one is available.

Great Ormond Street Squirrel Ward

Visiting Hours

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
Hospital accommodation is available for 2 parents while their baby is on NICU, this accommodation is within walking distance of the hospital and is free of charge except for a small refundable key deposit.
Breastfeeding and expressing mothers can request a breast pump for their room and there is an expressing room close to NICU.
NICU has a security entry phone system. You will only be able to come into the ward once a member of staff has verified your identity. In the interests of patient safety and security, it is extremely important that secure doors are not left open and anyone entering the ward has been checked by a member of staff. If you are suspicious of anyone on the ward, please contact a member of staff immediately.
Please make sure that you use the sinks and hand sanitiser gel before entering and exiting the ward. The sinks are located by the main entrance to the ward area and the sanitiser gel dispensers are located at each door within the ward.

• We ask that you limit the number of visitors to a maximum of three at any one time (including yourself). Your child’s brothers and sisters are welcome but no other children, and siblings need to be supervised by a responsible adult . After 9pm parents should be the only visitors. Anyone who has an infection should not visit until they are better.
• Please keep mobile phones on silent and take calls outside the unit. You can request WiFi access.
• There are 2 sitting rooms for parents and visitors on the corridor outside NICU, one is a quiet room for adults with facilities to make tea and coffee, the other one is for adults and children with a TV and with a play corner for siblings.
• There are 2 unisex toilets for parents and visitors close to NICU.
• There are lockers for parents’ belongings next to the sitting room. Please ask your bedside nurse or one of the ward administrators for a key.
• A midwifery clinic is held in the hospital 3 times a week for postnatal checks.
• The hospital has a chapel and the multi-faith chaplaincy team offer spiritual , religious and pastoral care to families of all faiths and none. They provide a 24 hour on call service.

Squirrel Ward

Two parents are offered hotel accommodation whilst their baby is in our HDU bay, once a neonate becomes stable they will be moved to a cubicle; accommodation is available in the cubicle for one parent only.
Breastfeeding, expressing and kangaroo care is encouraged on our ward for all neonates. A Breastfeeding and expressing room is available to mothers who wish to have more privacy; all of our bay areas within our HDU have privacy curtains. A midwife is available twice a week to see all new mothers, a neonatal nurse advisor and paediatrician are available for advice and reviews of patients.
We have a neonatal health care assistant who works closely with the team to help support families and assist new families in kangaroo care, breast feeding and other aspects of baby care. We also have a group of volunteers who are happy to sit with babies if parents wish whilst they take a break.

• There are no set visiting times for parents and siblings. All other visitors are to adhere to the ward visiting hours of 10am-7.30pm, we ask that you please only have three visitors around a bed space at any one time, to allow nurses and doctors to continue their medical care. We encourage neonatal development and therefore have quiet developmental time within our HDU bay 1pm-3pm where only parents are able to visit. Anyone who has been ill, we ask do not visit until they have no further symptoms.
• Squirrel has a security entry phone system, you will only be able to come onto the ward once you identity has been verified by a member of staff.
• Sinks and hand sanitizers are available for all parent s and visitors, please ensure you use these before and prior to entering the ward.
• All parents have access to our kitchen located on the ward, which has a seating area where food and hot drinks can be consumed; we ask that no hot drinks are bought on to the ward.
• The hospital has a chapel and the multi-faith chaplaincy team offer spiritual, religious and pastoral care to families of all faiths, a 24 hour on call service is provided.

Key Contact

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

NICU: 020 7829 8812 Ward Manager: Annette Rathwell
Family Liaison Nurses: Esther Rose and Petra Shroff 020 7405 9200 Ext 6723
PICU and NICU are run by a highly qualified multidisciplinary team that includes Consultants in Intensive Care and Anaesthetics. As well as our Consultants, the team comprises Registrars, Family Liaison Nurses, Healthcare Assistants, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Play Specialists, Ward Administrators, Housekeepers, Psychologist, Social Workers, Chaplains and a full complement of ward nurses.
In addition to our staff, PICU and NICU have a team of volunteers who work alongside ward staff and contribute to the care and wellbeing of families on PICU and NICU.

Squirrel Ward

General Surgery: 0207 4059200 ex 5093/5092
Discharge/Complex Care Co-ordinators: Caroline Gainsbury and Susan Regan

Unit Facilities


Public Transport & Car Parks

Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust
Within walking distance of the hospital are a number of Cafes, restaurants, parks, banks and supermarkets.
The closest tube stations are Holborn (Central Line) and Russell Square (Piccadilly Line). Euston and King’s Cross Station are a short bus ride away. There are numerous bus routes close to the hospital.

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
Parents with a baby on NICU can request a car parking permit which enables them to park on single yellow lines in the vicinity of the hospital. We are situated within the congestion zone and families have to pay the charge Monday to Friday.

Squirrel Ward
Parents are able to request a parking permit on the day of admission and discharge. We are situated within the Congestion Charge and families have to pay a charge Monday-Friday.

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