GOSH must plan better for expansion

Thursday, 16th June

camden Image 2022-06-07 at 8.57.11 AM (7)

How the rebuild of the main entrance of Great Ormond Street Hospital could look

• FURTHER to your report (Residents fear five years of lorry misery from GOSH redevelopment, June 2) there are two points to be made.

First, five years ago the Great Ormond Street children’s hospital residents’ liaison group identified a route through the GOSH campus that would mean thousands of 30-tonne lorry movements would not have to use narrow local roads. Instead they would both enter and leave the site from Guilford Street.

To create this route would take some engineering ingenuity but GOSH have shown themselves more than capable of this in the past. But they have refused to consider this route seriously.

They simply say that it wouldn’t be “feasible” and come up with a number physical problems, all of which we think could be overcome if there were a will to do so.

Second, GOSH are quoted as saying: “The ever-increasing complexity of treatments, new equipment and GOSH’s ambition to improve the patient and family experience, as well as staff health and wellbeing, results in the requirement for larger rooms and spaces”. This means perpetual expansion.

They have taken over the old Italian hospital building in Queen Square to provide a new sight and sound centre, and they’ve taken over the old London University computer centre in Guilford Street for the Zayed Centre for Research into Rare Disease in Children.

Both of these are good uses for old sites, but both are also examples of the relentless need for more space.

Where will they find room for “larger rooms and spaces”? Will they cram more and more massive new buildings onto their already overcrowded site?

As specialities become more and more complex the demand for specialist buildings will inevitably increase.

Shouldn’t GOSH finally accept that they’ve run out of space in Holborn, that any further building here would be at a totally unacceptable cost to the locality, and their way forward must be to make the bold decision to build a new hospital away from the pollution and congestion of central London?

There they would have room for expansion as they needed it, parents and carers could be accommodated much more easily, staff could have a much better work-life balance, and the patients, the children, would be in surroundings infinitely more conducive to their recovery to full health.

MICHAEL POUNTNEY, WC1

Related Articles