Great Ormond Street Hospital cookie policy

Purpose: identifying unique visitors

About cookies

Cookies are small files sent by web servers to your web browser (e.g. Internet Explorer, Firefox or Chrome) and stored on your computer’s hard drive.
The information is then sent back to the server each time the browser loads a website page from the same server. This enables a web server to identify and track individual web browsers.
There are two main kinds of cookies: session cookies and persistent cookies. Session cookies are deleted from your computer when you close your browser, whereas persistent cookies remain stored on your computer until deleted, or until they reach their expiry date.
Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) uses certain essential cookies which are needed to enable the provision of our website’s core service, which is to provide information about the hospital’s service. In accordance with the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (EC Directive) 2011, no consent is needed to place these cookies on your browser.
In addition to these essential cookies, the cookies that follow are not essential to provide the core service but do help us to improve our website experience. By using our website you are consenting to these cookies being placed on your browser, however you can disable them using your browser settings. Details of how to do this are listed below.

Google Analytics cookies

GOSH uses Google Analytics to analyse the use of this website. Google Analytics generates statistical and other information about website use by means of cookies, which are stored on your computer. Although these cookies are not essential to the core function of the website, they are useful in enabling the hospital to measure the performance of our website, enabling us to improve our online experience for patients, families and medical staff.
Google Analytics does not collect any personal information such as your name, address or contact details. All the information collected is anonymous. The information generated relating to our website is used to create reports about the use of the website. Google will store and use this information. Google's privacy policy is available at:
When you arrive on our website Google Analytics will place the following four cookies on your computer:

_utma cookie

The _utma cookie helps us to identify whether you are a new or returning visitor, or how long it has been since you last visited our site. This helps us to identify what content is most useful for each type of visitor, and to assess whether our website is successful at providing useful content that means people want to come back. It is what is called a persistent cookie, which means it doesn’t expire and stays on your computer unless you choose to delete it. 

 _utmb & _utmc cookies

Purpose: determining visitor session
The _utmb and _utmc cookies work together to calculate the time you spend on our site. The _utmb cookie takes a timestamp of the exact time you enter our site, and the utmc cookie takes a timestamp of the exact time you leave. Both the _utmb and _utmc cookies are 'session' cookies, which mean they expire at the end of your session.
The information they provide helps us to understand whether pages are useful and engaging. For example, if 100 people visit a page and the average time on the page is just five seconds, we know that page is not very useful and people do not find the page interesting. If the page has an average visit time of three minutes we can see the content is working and can use this information to help us improve content on underperforming pages.

_utmz Cookie

Purpose: tracking traffic sources and navigation
When you reach our site via a search engine result, a direct link, or an ad that links to your page, Google Analytics stores the type of referral information in the _utmz cookie. It provides us with the search term you typed into your search engine; which site you were on before you arrived; if the link was in an email, which email you received; if you clicked on an advert; or whether you typed our web address directly into your browser. The expiration date for the cookie is set as six months into the future. This cookie gets updated with each subsequent page you visit, and is therefore the cookie used to determine which pages you have visited on our site.
We use this information in a number of ways. For example, to understand what users are searching for on Google before arriving on our site, enabling us to better prioritise the work of our online editorial team. 

ASP.NET session cookie

This cookie is set by IIS, rather than by our CMS provider. However, this is then made available to .net applications such as our CMS in order to track a browser during a visit. This cookie is a session cookie and expires upon exit, and does not store personal information.

Facebook cookies

Great Ormond Street Hospital uses the Facebook ‘Like’ and ‘Recommend’ buttons on our website. As a result Facebook places the following cookies on your browser when you visit our website:


This is a session cookie and expires upon exit.


This is a session cookie and expires upon exit.


This is a session cookie and expires upon exit.


This is a persistent cookie and expires 23 months from the day it is set.


This is a session cookie and expires upon exit.


This is a persistent cookie and expires 23 months from the day it is set.


This is a session cookie and expires upon exit.


This is a session cookie and expires upon exit.

AllowEasysiteCookies cookie

The banner that displays a link to our cookie policy has a button which says 'Don't show me again'. If you click this button our content management system will place the AllowEasysiteCookies cookie in order to prevent the banner from being shown to you again. This is a persistent cookie which will expire 12 months from the day it is set.

Browser cookie settings

If you would like to prevent cookies from being set by this site, or any other, the following links will assist in that aim:
How to change your cookie settings in Firefox 
Internet Explorer 
How to change your cookie settings in Internet Explorer 
Google Chrome 
How to change your cookie settings in Google Chrome 
Safari (OS X) 
How to change your cookie settings in Safari (OS X) 
Safari (iOS) 
How to change your cookie settings in Safari (iOS) 
How to change your cookie settings in Android