Children’s Cancer Centre

Frequently asked questions

Here we provide a response to frequently asked questions. Please click on the question to read the response.

What will the scheme deliver?

Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust (GOSH) is proposing to redevelop the existing Frontage Building on Great Ormond Street to provide a new cancer centre alongside the creation of new, upgraded facilities to enable the effective delivery of cancer care for children and their families.

What will happen in the Children’s Cancer Centre?

The plans incorporate a cancer day centre, cancer wards, critical care facilities, new theatres and new machines for complex imaging. They also include a roof garden for the convenience and comfort of patients, families and visitors from throughout the hospital. A new hospital school with more generous space and better facilities will be included as part of the plans, so that the teaching staff can support our inpatients to continue their education and maintain their academic progress despite being in hospital. You can read more on The proposals page.

Why can’t GOSH continue to use the existing buildings?

Current cancer accommodation and co-dependent facilities are outdated and, in many cases, not fit-for-purpose for a modern hospital and the new innovations coming on stream. The standard of facilities does not meet best practice, and some of our sickest patients, undergoing chemotherapy, are treated in Safari Ward in the 1930s Southwood Building. The new Children’s Cancer Centre will co-locate services in a nurturing environment and facilitate new models of care, improving clinical quality.

The Children’s Cancer Centre will enable GOSH to put ‘the child first and always’ and work at an even faster pace to improve outcomes for children with rare and difficult-to-treat cancers.

Why does the Children’s Cancer Centre need to be developed now?

GOSH has continued to see the demand for its services grow, and the increasing demand for specialist services like cancer, cardiac, and neurosurgery is a significant pressure on the current beds. Demand for GOSH’s services is expected to continue to grow due to: 

  • Rising UK population; 
  • New treatments for complex conditions, for example, CAR T Cell Therapy for childhood cancers;
  • Increased long term survival rates for children with chronic conditions leading to continuing interventions, therapy and palliative care.

Will the proposed Section 73 design updates increase the height of the building?

The height of the proposed scheme will be no higher than the permitted scheme.

Why does the building need to be so tall?

The design takes into account the facilities required to provide care to children in safe and appropriate environments, as well as the spaces and functions needed to support families and our staff. The complexity of care, the need for innovative research, and the comfort of patients are all driving the need for larger rooms and spaces, and therefore a taller building. There is a clear clinical need for the amount of space we are applying for and a clear benefit to our children from all the additional facilities including gardens and the school. 

We have worked with officers at the London Borough of Camden (LBC) and the Greater London Authority (GLA) on the design of the building so that the clinical need can be met in a sensitive way. The project has been informed by demand and capacity modelling, together with the analysis of emerging treatments and therapies, in order to provide space to meet current and future needs and continue to provide safe and comfortable care. The GLA and Camden design review panel both assessed the building design as suitable for the site.

How sustainable will the building be?

GOSH is committed to both sustainable development and sustainable operations and is targeting a BREEAM rating of ‘Excellent’. BREEAM is an internationally respected method used for assessing sustainability in construction. The plans have been designed to integrate with existing buildings and optimise clinical efficiency, resulting in a functional, modern, and future-proofed building that can be part of the local community.

How will construction be managed?

John Sisk & Son Ltd have been appointed by the Trust to lead the design process. To achieve this a Sisk has assembled an internationally recognised award winning design Team. You can read more about plans for construction on the Construction, access and logistics page.

When are you submitting the Section 73 application?

The Section 73 MMA application has been submitted to LB Camden who will shortly undertake their own consultation on the proposals. Further information can be found on the Camden Planning portal website.

When will construction start on site?

Subject to LB Camden’s approval of the DCMP, construction works are anticipated to start in late January/February 2024.

Why can’t you use an alternative construction and access route via Powis Place?

GOSH has investigated this alternative access route. For multiple reasons, there is no deliverable means of using Powis Place as a construction access.  These reasons include landownership, servicing of both GOSH and UCLH, existing clinical facilities both in the Southwood Building and under Powis Place, and the need for Powis Place to remain the blue light access for GOSH and UCLH.  Furthermore, even if it were, the effects on nearby residents on the site's southern side would be far worse than any proposed effects of the Demolition and Construction Management Plan route.

You can find out more by visiting the construction, access and logistics page.

How will you reduce the impact of construction on local businesses?

The DCMP outlines the proposed mitigation measures for the construction period in terms of logistics, traffic management, access, and operating hours in order to minimise the impact on local residents and businesses.

Sisk has devised a logistical plan to ensure that the majority of the work is completed within the construction hoarding line. Certain construction phase activities must be carried out outside of the approved area; this will be done with the approval of relevant authorities and will ensure continuous safe segregation of construction operations and public realm.

Throughout the construction period, GOSH will communicate with their neighbours, and residents will have a direct point of contact in the construction team to address any questions or concerns

Why are you including a café in the proposals when it will put local businesses in competition?

In response to local concerns voiced during the pre-application consultation, we are proposing to remove the café from the proposals as part of the Section 73 MMA application.

Will local businesses be compensated for business lost during construction?

Nearly 6,000 people work at GOSH. Jobs vary from hospital consultants, cleaners, porters, nurses, administrators as well as engineers, teachers and many other varied functions. GOSH staff, visiting patients and families use the local facilities and enjoy the amenities on Lamb’s Conduits Street, the Brunswick Centre and beyond. They will continue to use the convenience stores and business in the area which would be very different without them travelling to the site every day.

Why can’t you develop the Southwood building first?

The plan to develop the frontage building first was part of the Development Control Plan for GOSH and adopted in January 2015, following extensive discussions with the London Borough of Camden. The Frontage building is in the greatest need of redevelopment and will provide the necessary space required to treat children and young people.

How widely have you consulted on the draft DCMP?

We contacted 2330 properties in the surrounding neighbourhood to publicise the DCMP consultation.

Will engagement with the local community continue throughout the deconstruction and construction process?

A Project Liaison Manager (PLM) will be appointed to plan, manage and monitor all interfacing activities that may have an impact on GOSH, local residents and businesses.  It is proposed that Construction Working Group (CWG) sessions will be carried on a monthly basis and prior to the commencement of specific construction work phases.  At the consultation events, presentations will be delivered to all attending parties and resident associations on logistical arrangements and proposed environmental controls.

Further information about the Construction Working Group will be published on this website.

Why can’t you build the CCC in another location?

The CCC will include the following services: inpatient cancer wards, day care cancer services (for example the delivery of chemotherapy), imaging services, theatres, critical care services and a hospital school.

It is not possible to deliver these services safely away from the main hospital site. Proximity with our research partners and our clinical partners such as UCLH also brings significant benefits which would not be achieved if the centre was located elsewhere.

It is also worth noting that the design of the CCC deliberately interconnects with the existing Variety Club Building, Premier Inn Clinical Building and Octav Botnar Wing with cumulative benefits to the rest of the hospital. Patients from across GOSH will benefit from the new theatres, imaging, critical care services and hospital school.

We are also extremely excited about the inclusion of a new hospital school in the proposed development. With treatment areas, age-appropriate classrooms and learning environment, the plans will make it significantly easier for young people to engage in learning and for the school team to deliver the very best education to children at GOSH. Located next to the main entrance it would be a visible celebration of education and learning, normal activities of childhood and a space we will be proud of. This makes it similar to other schools which are visible and part of the community.