The hospital like no other: A brief history of Great Ormond Street Hospital

Until 1852, there was no hospital in Britain dedicated solely to the treatment of children – and then came GOSH

Monday 23 November 2015 20:20
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The old entrance to the Hospital for Sick Children (now Great Ormond Street Hospital), Great Ormond Street, London, in 1949
The old entrance to the Hospital for Sick Children (now Great Ormond Street Hospital), Great Ormond Street, London, in 1949

The world-famous Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) began more than 160 years ago with humble beginnings.

It was founded by Dr Charles West, who was driven to establish the hospital by the shockingly high level of infant mortality in the capital.

Until the hospital’s birth on February 14 1852, there was no hospital in Britain dedicated solely to the treatment of children.

GOSH began as The Hospital for Sick Children in Great Ormond Street - a converted townhouse with just two doctors and 10 beds. By the end of the hospital’s first year, the number of beds had already trebled.

It now boasts the UK’s widest range of health services for children on one site, with 51 specialities, and has more than 250,000 patient visits a year.

GOSH treats some of the country’s most seriously ill children and has a name that is respected around the globe.

Among its achievements, the hospital is responsible a number of high-profile medical breakthroughs and is a leader in cutting-edge research within the field of paediatric care.

It is a long and rich history, made possible by the generosity of a wide range of donors.

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