By Your Side: Reaching Families in Hospital


We know that having a child in hospital can be a time of overwhelming stress and insecurity.

As well as emotional strain, parents often face a raft of practical challenges. Families can be left feeling confused by the medical system, uncertain about where to turn for help, and struggling under increased financial pressure as they reduce work hours to spend more time with their child.

How we support families in hospital

Our By Your Side parent advisers are located in hospitals and other health settings, where they are able to guide parents through the maze of medical departments and jargon they face. We can answer parents' questions and make sure they have the information they need - all without needing an appointment.

"I was physically and emotionally exhausted. But Ruth from Contact really listened to me and helped in so many ways. She was my little bit of sanity." Parent Carer

We help families with their most pressing issues, including benefits - such as Disability Living Allowance payments when in hospital - and getting the right support at school. We guide families through condition-specific services, help them find local support groups, and signpost to local organisations.

For more complex matters, we can refer families to our rare conditions officer, our specialist helpline or a local Contact office.

Where we're based

The Evelina Children's Hospital, London

We are set up in the main outpatients most Monday mornings from 10am- 1pm. We have a clinic room for drop ins and can visit families in need on the wards.


Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), London

We are based every Thursday from 9am - 2pm in the Lagoon Canteen at GOSH on the ground floor. We have a private space nearby for drop ins, and we receive referrals from hospital staff.


Acorns Child Development Centre in Sidcup, Kent

We hold a monthly information stand in the main reception area of Acorns Child Development Centre. These session are generally on a Monday morning. The centre houses the following Bexley services: Community Paediatrics (including ASD/ADHD specialist teams), Speech & Language Therapy, CAMHS, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Community Nursing and Audiology.


Great North Children's Hospital

We run occasional drop-in sessions at the Great North Children's Hospital. For more information, email anne.brook@contact.org.uk


Birmingham Children's Hospital

We run occasional drop-in sessions at Birmingham Children's Hospital. For more information, email anne.brook@contact.org.uk