On the 14th February 1852, Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) was opened to care for the sick infants and children of London. The hospital was founded by Dr. Charles West and had just 10 beds when it first opened. At this time, one third of all children born in London died before reaching adulthood. We have come a long way since then, with less than 1% of all deaths in the UK now being children under the age of 15 years (Office for National Statistics, 2010).
Large teaching hospitals can sometimes be impersonal and intimidating places for staff and patients until they become more familiar. However, at GOSH this was not the impression we had on our introduction, quite the opposite. The staff in the main hospital and those working in the Somers Clinical Research Facility, were very friendly, professional and helpful, which made for a perfect start to our new working relationship.
There are many contributing factors to the reducing mortality rate amongst children, one being the continuing leap forward in medical and technological advances, and this is largely due to the research carried out both nationally and internationally.
GOSH and its research partner, University College London (UCL) Institute of Child Health (ICH), is the largest paediatric centre in Europe dedicated to research. It is at GOSH that the Somers Clinical Research Facility is based, offering day care to children involved in research studies. Strategically placed near the main entrance to the hospital, despite being on the lower ground floor, the research facility boosts a light airy atmosphere with individual consulting rooms and communal play areas where children involved in trials, and their carers, can meet the nurses and doctors. In 2010, 40 clinical research studies were conducted at the Somers Clinical Research Facility, involving 220 patients who attended 932 research appointments. In total, over 223 clinical trials were setup at GOSH in 2010.
As a paediatric research nurse, there is a great feeling of pride being associated with a world famous children’s hospital such as GOSH. My work as a paediatric research nurse at ResearchNurses.co has given me the opportunity to work closely with the team at the Somers Clinical Research Facility, where together we offer children and their families high quality care and a professional service, by taking that care out into the child’s home. This in turn, provides me with a great sense of job satisfaction.
Happy Birthday GOSH, 160 years young!
Heather Glover, Paediatric Research Nurse at ResearchNurses.co