Whipps Cross Hospital

A picture of Whipps Cross Hospital

Whipps Cross Hospital

Whipps Cross Hospital

Whipps Cross Hospital, based in east London, provides care for babies, children and young people in east London.

We have a dedicated A&E for children, a ward for children, and even a school.

Welcome to Acorn Ward

Phone us on: 020 8535 6990

We are committed to putting patients first, treating them with dignity and respect, offering safe, skilled, sensitive care, delivered by conscientious, committed staff in a clean and safe environment. We will do all we can to make you and your child’s stay as reassuring, welcoming and comfortable as possible.

Daily routine

The day nurse’s shift starts at 07:45 – 20:15.  After handover, your child will be allocated a nurse, who will come and introduce him/herself to you and care for your child during that shift.  He/she will check that you know where the facilities are and answer any questions or give any help that may be needed.

Nightshift starts at 19:45 – 08:15.  Parents beds must be folded up each morning by 09:00 to allow for cleaning and easier access to patients.   Please discuss with your allocated nurse if you need your bed kept down for any medical reason.

We would also appreciate it if curtains are kept drawn back during the day so your child can be observed.

Our policy on Acorn Ward is that we check with you every hour during the day shift to ensure that you and your child do not want for anything.  This is what we call Hourly Rounds.  Please inform the nurse if you have any concerns.

After breakfast we will help you wash your child if needed.  If you need washing equipment, please ask.

Ward rounds

Each morning the children admitted under the care of a paediatrician will be reviewed by the paediatric team. You will be informed if your child is fit for discharge or requires further review later that day.  If the decision is taken that your child is ready for home, your paperwork and medication, if needed, will be arranged at the end of the ward round.  When the Team has agreed your child is fit for discharge we would appreciate your help in being able to get that bed ready for another sick child waiting in A&E. You are very welcome to wait in the playroom if necessary.  Every effort will be made to speed up this process.  Please be patient as it may be necessary to get some medication from the pharmacy.

The other specialists; surgery, orthopaedics, ENT etc. will be reviewed by a member of their team daily.  Due to their theatre commitments, this may be morning or afternoon.

The paediatric team cannot make any final decisions about the treatment of your child if they are under the care of another speciality.  They will, however, oversee the management of pain relief and other support and advice if deemed necessary by the team responsible for your child’s care.

Each child has an identity band on one of their limbs.  This is to ensure children are kept safe and are easily recognisable.  If your child’s band is removed or has fallen off, please let your nurse know so it can be replaced as soon as possible.

Meal times

  • Breakfast: 08:30 – 09:00 served by the nurses’ station
  • Lunch: 12:15 – 13:00 served opposite the Playroom
  • Supper/Dinner: 17:15 – 18:00 served opposite the Playroom

The most commonly used baby milks and food are supplied.  If your child is being fed on any special milk/diet, please bring a supply with you as it is impossible for the ward to stock a supply of everything.  A dietician will be contacted and we will endeavour to supply what your child needs.  Should you have any bottles that need sterilising, please give to your allocated nurse to sterilize.

Fresh water will be given out three times a day in jugs for children.  If your child prefers a hot drink, please let your nurse know.

Visiting times

  • Parents: any time of day
  • Other Visitors: 11:00 – 20:00

Parents are welcome to visit at any time of day.  We can only accommodate one parent staying overnight with their child as we have limited space and your child’s safety is our priority.  A put-up bed will be provided next to your child’s bed which needs to be folded away prior to the ward round.

Visitors will be restricted to immediate family only in the morning to allow for the Ward Round to take place.

We encourage parents to settle their children for the night by 21:00 and the main lights will be turned off between 21:00 and 22:00 where possible. Therefore we ask you to remind visitors not to visit after 20:00 out of consideration for the children and resident parents.

How to access Acorn Ward

All visitors must be ‘buzzed in’ by a member of staff.  It is vital that access is only given to people who have a reason to be on the ward.  This is for the safety of your child.  The ward staff would appreciate your help in this and request that you do not let anyone into the Acorn Ward who has not spoken to a member of staff or does not know the access code.

Click here for accessibility information

Television and phone

Hospedia provides free TV viewing at each bedside between 07:00 and 19:00.  It's not possible to watch TV outside of those hours.  There are a few mobile TVs for children to watch DVDs and videos.  These are mainly for use by children confined to their beds or rooms.  Out of consideration to other children and their families, we would be grateful if mobile phones be turned off or put on silent between 22:00 and 06:00.  If you must use your phone, please go to the parent’s room.


We provide nappies for emergencies only.  If your child is using nappies, please arrange for a supply to be brought in.

Single sex accomodation

We aim to comply with the National Service Framework for Children and Young People.  This recommends that children are grouped with other children of a similar age where possible.  However if your child would prefer to be in with children of the same gender, please make this known to the nurse in charge, and every effort will be made to accommodate the request, depending on the condition of the child.


We encourage school age children to attend our hospital school.  Our teachers are used to working with children who are unwell.  The teachers follow a curriculum similar to that followed in schools, and all ability levels and different ages are catered for with stimulating and well planned lessons.  We also inform the child’s mainstream school of attendance so they receive an “off-site” education mark in their own school.

  • School hours are 09:30 – 12:15 and from 13:30 – 15:30


We have a playroom with play specialist/nursery nurses who encourage pre-school children to play and mix together.  Playroom staff ensure that activities/toys cover the foundation stage framework.

  • Staff are present from 09:30 – 12:15 and from 13:30 – 15:30
  • Parents should always be with their child in the playroom
  • The playroom is closed at 19:30

Facilities for parents

A parents room is allocated on the main corridor of the ward, opposite the playroom.  This is equipped with facilities for storing and preparing meals and drinks.  Cereal, tea, coffee, milk and sugar are provided by the ward.  There is a fridge in the parents room for your benefit.  Please put your name and date on all food you put in the fridge. 

The fridge will be cleaned weekly by the Housekeeping staff and any out of date food or unlabelled food will be discarded.  We would be grateful if all uneaten food is disposed of or taken home on discharge. There is a separate shower room and toilet available for parents use. For the safety of our young patients hot drinks are not permitted on the ward unless in a takeaway cup provided with a lid.

We provide breakfast for parents.  Breastfeeding mothers are entitled to be provided with all meals.  Food can be purchased in the canteen or light snacks from the hospital shop.  Both are located on the main hospital corridor, ground floor, Junction 5.

  • Hospital canteen opening times: every day – 07:00 – 19:00
  • Hospital shop opening times: Monday to Friday 07:00 – 21:00, Saturday 09:00 – 19:30, Sunday 09:00 – 19:00

For parents who can’t leave their child, a convenience trolley comes to the ward at approximately 11:00 every day. 

You can find out more information about coming to Acorn Ward in our welcome pack [docx] 565KB

Visit us

Whipps Cross Hospital is located in Leytonstone in the East End of London, within the London Borough of Waltham Forest.

You can travel to hospital in a number of ways including on foot, by car, by bike or by public transport. Plan your journey using the Transport for London journey planner or through the travel information below.

TfL can offer advice on planning a journey using an accessible route and can provide a mentor to come with you for your first few journeys to help you gain confidence and become an independent traveller, to find out more complete TfL’s form online.

By bus

Buses W12, W15, W19 and 357 stop within the hospital grounds, you can alight at the main entrance stop. Buses 20, 56, 230 and 257 also all stop near the hospital grounds at the Whipps Cross roundabout. Low-floor wheelchair accessible buses run on all routes serving Whipps Cross University Hospital.

By tube

The closest underground stations are Leytonstone on the central line and Walthamstow Central on the Victoria line. Wood Street and Walthamstow Central are on London Overground line running from Chingford to Liverpool Street or Leyton Midland Road is on the London Overground line running from Barking to Gospel Oak.

Leytonstone can be reached within a 29 minute walk from the main entrance of Whipps Cross Hospital, the main entrance is the furthest away it will take less time to reach other departments as the hospital is spread across a large area and the main entrance is the furthest away from the direction of Leytonstone.

Alternatively it is possible to cycle to these stations or use one of the bus services operating within the vicinity of the site.

Walthamstow Central can be reached within a 33 minute walk and Wood Street can be reached in an 11 minute walk from the main entrance of Whipps Cross Hospital. Alternatively it is possible to cycle to these stations or use one of the bus services operating within the vicinity of the site.

A number of these bus services provide connections to local underground and overground railway stations, the W15 and W19 stop at Leytonstone tube station (Central line), the 230 goes to Wood Street (Overground) and the 20, 230, 257, 357, W12, W15 and W19 all stop at Walthamstow Central (Victoria and Overground).

Freedom passes

Older persons Freedom Pass- The Freedom Pass for older people allows free travel across London and free local bus journeys nationally.

Disabled persons Freedom Pass- The travel pass for disabled people allows free travel across London and free bus journeys nationally. You can use your pass on most journeys across London but there are a few exceptions to when and where you can use your card.

A 60+ London Oyster photocard- allows you to travel free on public transport in London from the age of 60 until you qualify for a Freedom Pass. To be eligible for a 60+ London Oyster photocard, you must: Live in a London borough and be aged 60 or over.

To find out more about the above listed Freedom passes visit the London Councils website.

By car or taxi

Parking on the hospital site is limited; we encourage patients and visitors not to travel by car wherever this is possible. The main entrance to the hospital is on Whipps Cross Road (the A114) between the Whipps Cross roundabout and the Green Man roundabout. There are approximately 400 parking spaces for patients and visitors on the site - located in four visitor car parks. Car parks one and two are located just off Hospital Road. The best route to these car parks is via the main entrance on Whipps Cross Road.

  • Car park one should be used for the main entrance, chest clinic and MRI.
  • Car park two should be used for main entrance, eye treatment centre and plane tree centre.
  • Car park three is located just off Hospital Road, but is located behind the maternity unit. The best route to this car park is via the James Lane entrance. This car park should be used for maternity, antenatal, and outpatients.
  • Car park four located near the Accident and Emergency (A&E) department. This car park is in high demand, and space availability is limited. 

Pay and display machines are available in all car park areas. Please ensure your ticket is clearly displayed in the windscreen:

  • Up to two hours: £2.50
  • Up to four hours: £4.00
  • Up to six hours: £6.00
  • Up to eight hours: £8.00
  • Up to 24 hours: £15.00

There are also a number of places which may be used for dropping off or picking up patients. They can be found in the following locations:

  • Opposite the maternity main entrance - three drop-off bays for women in labour or partners collecting mothers and babies. These are clearly marked.
  • Emergency and urgent care centre drop off - there are four bays located opposite the entrance. These have a time limit of 10 minutes maximum to drop off patients. Drivers must then return to their vehicles and park in a visitors car park (the nearest is car park one).

Infopoint help-points allow you to make free calls to taxi companies and public transport information lines to arrange your journey home. There are infopoints located at the Main entrance, Antenatal, Eye Clinic, Urgent Care Centre and Outpatients at Whipps Cross Hospital.

Blue badge holders

We provide 69 designated parking spaces for patients and visitors with blue badges, conveniently located across all parking areas and clearly indicated. Our car parking team routinely monitors these areas to ensure proper usage — blue badges should be clearly displayed where possible. It's important to note that blue badge holders are exempt from parking fees in these designated spaces.

Refunds of hospital transport costs 

You may be able to claim a refund for the cost of your transport to hospital through the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme (HTCS) if you:

  • are not eligible for patient transport services (PTS)
  • cannot afford the cost of travelling to hospital
  • cannot get a friend or relative to take you

Refer to Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme (HTCS) for more information on who is eligible, what the conditions are and how you can access the scheme.

By bike

We encourage visitors, staff and patients living nearby to cycle to the hospital if possible. Cycle parking facilities are available around the hospital.

The hospital appears on TfL’s Local Cycling Guide 4. You can order this guide for free by calling 0343 222 1234.

OFO dockless bike sharing operates in the London borough of Waltham Forest, you can find our OFO bike location at the main entrance of the hospital. For access to these bikes download the OFO app.

Finding your way around Whipps Cross Hospital

Click here for accessibility information

Download a map of the hospital [pdf] 2MB

Outpatient services at Whipps Cross

Our outpatient department is located in the main hospital corridor between Junction 3 and Junction 4.

When you arrive the nursing staff will welcome you and explain what to expect - you will be given the opportunity to ask questions if anything is unclear.

All our staff wear name badges and will introduce themselves to you. 

What services are available?

We provide a wide range of outpatient services for children and young people including:

  • General paediatrics
  • Dermatology
  • Endocrinology
  • Diabetes
  • TB outreach clinics
  • Urology
  • Epilepsy
  • Neonatal follow up
  • Respiratory/asthma
  • Cardiology (outreach)
  • Sickle cell
  • Paediatric surgery

In addition, we provide nurse-led and dietitian led specialist clinics including:

  • Diabetes (transition)
  • Asthma

Click here for accessibility information

Arranging an appointment

Following an assessment, usually by your GP, an electronic referral will be made for your child to be seen by a member of the children and young people team at Whipps Cross Hospital.

Choose & book appointment – This is where you can book an appointment with the chosen service at your GP surgery, choosing a date and time that is suitable for you.

Direct referral - This is where the person referring your child will send a letter to the chosen service and you will then receive the next available appointment, which will be sent to you by post.

Contacting the department

You can contact the children’s outpatient department on the following number or through hospital switchboard between 08:30am – 5.00pm, Monday – Friday

T: 020 8359 5522 ext: 4261


Our facilities


There is a shop at Junction 5 which sells food, drinks and newspapers to visitors. The opening hours are:

Monday – Friday – 7am-10pm
Saturday and Sunday – 9am-1.30pm

There is also a shop in the main Outpatients area open between Monday to Friday from 7.30am-5.30pm.

A trolley selling newspapers and sweets visits every ward each morning and a library trolley run by the volunteers service visits at least once a week. Please leave any borrowed books with ward clerks. Donated books are always welcomed.

Cash point

A cash machine is located in the hospital restaurant at Junction 5.

Post box

Our post box can be found along the main hospital corridor near Trust Management Offices at Junction 3.

Chaplaincy Service

Chaplains of many faiths are available to speak to all patients, relatives and carers. The chaplaincy team welcomes everyone, whatever your faith or beliefs and whether or not you follow a religion. The chaplains have links with many faith communities and will always try to get an appropriate representative when asked to do so. The service is confidential and respectful.

Mental Health

Whille we don't directly provide mental health services at Whipps Cross Hospital, advice and guidance on mental health capacity in Waltham Forest is available to you. 

Restaurant and coffee shop

Some wards have drink-dispensing machines or vending machines that visitors can pay to use.

The hospital restaurant provides a range of food, snacks and hot and cold drinks to visitors. It is open daily from 7am-7pm and is located between junctions 4 and 5 off the main corridor, in the red zone.

There is also a Costa located next to the restaurant. It is open Monday to Friday from 7am-7pm.

Find out about disabled access to the restaurant here.


Free wifi is available throughout the hospital for patients. There’s no time limit on use, and capacity has been expanded in order to ensure continuous access for as many users as possible.

Please note that the wifi cannot support streaming movies or high-intensity computer games.

The wifi can be accessed by completing the following steps:

  • Connect to the NHS Wi-Fi wireless network
  • Open your web browser
  • From the welcome page, accept the terms and conditions
  • Browse the internet and send and receive emails

If you encounter any problems please call the 24/7 helpdesk on 0344 848 9555.

Barts Hospital Radio

Barts Hospital Radio is free and provides programs of entertainment, music, and news: 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Volunteer Buggy Service

This service exists to transport patients and visitors with poor mobility to and between different hospital departments. The buggy service operates from the hospital's main entrance and is available from Monday to Friday from 8.30am-3.30pm. Please speak to the volunteers situated at the main entrance.

Library services

Our knowledge and library services are located in the Medical Education Centre.

Medical Education Centre
Willow Lodge, Junction 11
London, E11 1NR 

Tel: 020 8535 6973

Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 8am-5pm