Doctor Who star Karen Gillan visited Great Ormond Street Hospital this summer to help celebrate the opening of Squirrel Ward, refurbished and now ready for patients.

Karen GillenIn order to maintain and advance the position of Great Ormond Street Hospital as one of the world’s leading centres for paediatric care and research, we need to upgrade the oldest buildings and create additional space to allow more children to be treated.

Many of our inpatient wards, housed in a building built in the 1930s, are increasingly unsuitable for the treatment of seriously ill children and are failing to provide our young patients with the quality of care they should expect from a world-class hospital.

Many wards are currently being upgraded, improved and renamed. The new facilities will allow us to redesign how we work, to give a better, more flexible, convenient and comfortable service for our patients and their families. We will be able to treat more children and give our researchers and clinical staff the resources they need to develop new treatments.

As part of this redevelopment two wards recently became one. The Louise Ward (Urology and Ophthalmology) and Woodland Ward (General Surgery) were transformed into the new Squirrel Ward.

Karen Gillen and the Squirrel Ward teamLouise Ward was where children come to be nursed before and after surgery to their urinary system and also cared for children before and after eye surgery. Infants and young children having surgery on their digestive system, including complex operations like abdominal wall defect repair, were nursed on Woodland ward.

The new Squirrel Ward was officially opened and Louise and Woodland Wards were officially closed in June 2011.

Doctor Who star Karen Gillan made it official when she cut the ribbon to open the new Squirrel Ward in the Variety Club Building.  The new ward is a fantastic light and airy new space, a great sign of the improvements the redevelopment will make across the hospital.

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