New era for Edinburgh children’s care

Wednesday 26th June 2019

Two weeks remain until the opening of the new £150m children and young people’s hospital in Edinburgh.

An amalgamation of services from the current Royal Hospital for Sick Children, the department of clinical neurosciences at the Western General and Edinburgh’s child and adolescent mental health services, the state-of-the-art facility will open its doors on the 9th July

A key part of the development of the new facilities is a £5m art and therapeutic design programme that includes play areas, accessible outdoor spaces and art installations.

Roslyn Neely, chief executive of the Edinburgh children’s hospital charity – one of the organisations that has funded the programme – said her organisation “exists to transform the experiences of children and young people in hospital so they can be a child first and a patient second.

“From the excitement of the pod waiting area and ward playrooms, to the calming effect of the family interview spaces, the enhancements recognise the importance of environment in helping to reduce anxiety, provide distraction and in creating a sense of welcome.

“A trip to the hospital can be daunting but we hope that the innovative use of art and design will help to reduce that anxiety for all visitors to this special place.”

The children’s emergency department will accept its first patients from 8am on Tuesday 9th July.

Ten theatres, 242 beds and four MRI scanners are housed in the Little France site, which also brings together physical and mental health specialties in one location.

The move of services from the Edinburgh royal hospital for sick children brings to an end more than 150 years of care provision from the original site in Marchmont.

Speaking during a tour of the new facilities, NHS Lothian’s chief executive, Tim Davison, said:

“We have worked hard over the past few years to modernise our estate and this is the result of a fantastic team effort.

“There’s no getting away from it being a hospital…and visiting can be very stressful for patients and families, so we have tried hard to make it as interesting and visually stimulating as possible…decorating and furnishing it in a very special way.”