Great Ormond Street Hospital (then known as The Hospital for Sick Children) opened its doors at 49 Great Ormond Street on Valentine’s Day 1852 with 10 beds. It has since become one of the world’s leading children’s hospitals, housing the widest range of specialists under one roof.
Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) was founded by Dr Charles West, who was driven by the shockingly high level of infant mortality in the capital. It was the first hospital in the UK dedicated solely to the treatment of children.
For nearly 170 years, GOSH has been at the forefront of developing new and better ways to treat childhood diseases, pioneering numerous breakthroughs in paediatric care.
Prior to becoming part of the NHS in 1948, GOSH was known as a voluntary hospital, running fundraising campaigns for new buildings from the 1850s onwards.
In the early decades of the NHS, private fundraising was heavily restricted, but the Hospital was allowed to continue receiving legacies.
In 1982, the Government relaxed restrictions on charitable fundraising by individual hospitals. This allowed GOSH to initiate the hugely successful National Wishing Well Appeal of 1987–8, which raised £54 million to fund the Variety Club Building.
Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity (GOSH Charity) became a separate legal entity from the hospital and registered Charity in 1998 and in 2014 was incorporated as a company limited by guarantee.
Today, GOSH Charity supports the Hospital and the seriously ill children from across the UK who are treated there by funding four key areas:
- Research into pioneering new treatments for children
- Essential rebuilding and refurbishment of the hospital
- Vital support services for children and their families
- Life-saving medical equipment