Great Ormond Street Hospital celebrates Ramadan in London

outsideKuwait, 12 June 2016: Every year Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children (GOSH) in London prepares for Ramadan with its staff and families. As a multicultural city, many of the staff and UK families fast over Ramadan along with families from the Middle East, and the hospital works hard to accommodate people of all faiths and cultures. “Ramadan is a beautiful month,” says a mother from Kuwait, “we plan to celebrate it exactly the same in the hospital as we would normally.” To help families do this GOSH is putting on extra services and facilities.

Recognising the long hours required for fasting over Ramadan in the UK summertime, and the importance of Iftar, the hospital is offering food facilities until 11pm, as well as providing vending machines with halal food options across the hospital. The catering team are also providing extra halal food options, including new snacks such as dates, yoghurt and baklava. “It’s important to understand and support our colleagues and patients in such times, and promote an understanding within teams.” Said Simon Clark, Head of Catering at GOSH.

The hospital is also providing extra room to facilitate prayer over Ramadan, with an extra prayer area put aside inside the hospital including a segregated area for women, as well their normal multi-faith room. The hospital’s multi-faith Chaplaincy team is always available for all staff, families and children, and there are two Muslim chaplains in the team. “My experience of Ramadan at the hospital is very good,” said Aboubakr Elsayed, Arabic Patient Liaison Manager, “all the staff and my colleagues are really supportive of me and it makes me happy inside, and is really helpful to me when I am fasting for a long time. I also have the support of my managers and I really appreciate it.”

Every month GOSH hosts a Mother’s Tea Party run by one of the hospital’s female Muslim Arabic Interpreting Assistants. “It is lovely; it is a place to talk with the other mothers from the ward.” a mother from Kuwait commented. June’s Mother’s Tea Party was used to discuss possible food options for families over Ramadan. A tasting menu including sandwiches, salads, hummus, falafels and hot food such as chicken Makbous was laid out. The food was tested by a panel of mothers from the GCC and India who provided constructive feedback. “The food was very good,” a mother commented “the soup and rice dishes were excellent.” The mothers shared the food with their husbands and children back on the ward and feedback was given to the catering team.

Great Ormond Street Hospital

The hospital is also planning an Eid al Fitr party in July and are running an Eid al Fitr colouring competition for all children in the hospital across Ramadan. The winner of the competition will have their winning art work used in the posters and invitations for the Eid al Fitr party as well as being given a prize.Great Ormond Street Hospital

Great Ormond Street Hospital in London is recognised as one of the few truly world-class hospitals for children. As a global leader, GOSH has top clinical and research experts working every day to find new and better ways to treat children. While breakthroughs and medical expertise are essential to the treatment of patients, GOSH also places great emphasis on the support and care provided for children by nurturing an open and supportive atmosphere, ensuring that parents and patients are well informed and closely involved in the treatment process. Children receive the highest standards of care and attention from the expert team of medical and support staff during their stay at GOSH, and are always treated with respect, trust, concern and openness.

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