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Intensive Care and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (PICU/NICU)

A critical care nurse caring for a patient in ICU
A critical care nurse caring for a patient in ICU


Our intensive care units are the largest paediatric units in the UK and Europe. We admit children from all over the UK and internationally. Last year, our ICU units treated critically ill children from 26 countries, including the UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

We offer support for a range of specialties including respiratorygeneral surgery, neurosurgery, neurology, oncology, metabolic medicine, renal, ENT, and craniofacial, as well as children with head injury and trauma. Regular multi disciplinary team meetings will involve a range of specialists involved in each patient’s care. The range of paediatric specialists available on one site is not found elsewhere.

Our ICU units have state-of-the-art equipment and facilities to allow development of new treatments and management strategies for critically ill children. These include state-of-the-art ventilators for invasive and non-invasive ventilation, haemodynamic monitoring and renal replacement therapies.

Almost all children, infants and babies admitted to our ICU units are ventilated. We adhere closely to PICS standards and all of our ventilated patients are cared for by nursing staff on a 1:1 basis at all times. There are also 7 junior doctors and 4 consultants across both units during the working week with 5 junior doctors and 2 consultants always available out of hours.

Our aim is to provide excellent care to critically ill children in an environment that is sensitive to the needs of the child and the family. Our staff are acutely aware of the stress suffered by the families of children who are admitted to the units and have developed a large support network. We have a team of family liaison nurses, play specialists, interpreters, religious and psychological support

Paediatric Intensive Care (PICU)

Approximately 1,000 patients are admitted to our PICU every year. We are the lead centre for paediatric intensive care in the North Thames, and also admit patients from throughout the UK and internationally. 

GOSH is the only UK centre for the treatment of infants with Vein of Galen who often require intensive care services. We are one of the two London centres for children requiring neurosurgery and intensive care in London.

Nine in ten patients admitted to PICU are ventilated.

Neonatal Intensive Care (NICU)

Our NICU treats approximately 500 patients per year. As there are no maternity services within GOSH we are not a traditional NICU.

We primarily admit general surgical neonates referred from other hospitals who are often preterm. The NICU team has extensive experience treating neonates with a congenital diaphragmatic hernia, necrotising enterocolitis, bowel obstruction, oesophageal atresia, tracheoesophageal fistulae and other congenital anomalies. Our surgical and medical teams also undertake extensive research into causes and treatments for necrotising enterocolitis in neonates.

We run a joint service with University College London Hospital for mothers who have infants diagnosed antenatally with complex congenital conditions. These mothers are seen in antenatal clinic by both the surgeons and fetal medicine consultants. The family liaison nurses based at GOSH are also at these clinics and offer tours of NICU at GOSH prior to delivery.

Neonates with complex medical and surgical problems from other specialties are also admitted.

We are part of the North Central London Neonatal Network. In this collaboration we aim to provide the best service possible for neonates by sharing best practice and service opportunities with our colleagues at University College London Hospital, the Whittington, the Royal Free Hospital and Barnet Hospital.

Our staff on NICU provide a strong support network for families and there are regular midwife clinics, family liaison nurses, psychological support and breast-feeding specialists available.

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