Temporary changes to children and young people’s NHS services across north central London

To ensure the NHS can continue to deliver the best emergency and planned care across north central London during the winter and the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, temporary changes to services for children and young people will commence today.
Emergency ambulance outside an accident and emergency department

The changes will include the temporary closure of the children and young people’s emergency departments at the Royal Free Hospital and University College Hospital.

The Whittington Hospital and North Middlesex Hospital children’s emergency departments will expand to meet demand. Barnet Hospital children’s emergency department has already reopened following a temporary closure.

The changes follow a review of children and young people’s health services across north central London, and include the following temporary changes: 

  • University College London Hospitals’ (UCLH) children and young people’s emergency department (at University College Hospital) will remain temporarily closed over winter. UCLH specialist inpatient and day-case services, including cancer haemato-oncology and complex adolescents, will remain open.
  • Royal Free Hospital’s children and young people’s emergency department will temporarily close as will its children and young people's inpatient beds.
  • Barnet Hospital children and young people's emergency department and inpatient unit has reopened and will include child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) crisis support
  • The Whittington children and young people's emergency department and inpatient unit remains open and has expanded to meet forecast demand.
  • North Middlesex University Hospital children and young people's emergency department remains open with additional capacity. Inpatient services continue.
  • To ensure maintenance of access to elective services, Great Ormond Street Hospital will provide more room for urgent elective inpatient and some – but not all – day surgery.

Parents of children receiving ongoing or planned care will be contacted directly if there are any changes to existing arrangements.

These temporary arrangements will allow the NHS to focus resources and ensure children and young people’s services are not subject to disruption should there be an increase in demand due to the pandemic. They have been approved by the North Central London Clinical Advisory Group as the safest way to deliver services for children and young people over the coming months.
Parents and carers of children and young people are asked to call NHS 111 or use the online NHS 111 service, so that they can be to be directed to the best service for them.

Use the online NHS 111 service
Parents can also visit The North Central London Partners in Health and Care website to get more information on the temporary changes.

Looking for information about health and care?

Find advice and information to help you stay well and make decisions about your health and social care support.

Find advice and information