New Edinburgh's Sick Kids hospital changes 150-year-old name

For more than 150 years it has provided life-saving treatment to children from all over Scotland and offered families vital support in their time of need.

The hospital is moving to a purpose-built facility at Little France, close to the Royal Infirmary. Picture: Contributed

Now as it prepares to move into a new home, the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, known to many as the Sick Kids, is set for another big change by taking on a new name – The Royal Hospital for Children and Young People, Edinburgh (RHCYP).

The announcement comes as work continues on the hospital’s new purpose-built site in Little France next to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

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Brian Houston, chairman of NHS Lothian, said the new name would better reflect modern medicine and the age range of patients treated at the hospital.

He said: “Our vision for our new facility is to create a centre of excellence founded in Lothian’s finest traditions of healthcare and medical research.

“It will allow us to deliver the highest standards of care and pioneer new treatments. It will provide a safe, comforting and healing environment which promotes recovery and meets the needs of patients and their carers.

“Not only does the move to the new location at Little France allow us to join up the dots between our children and adult services on one campus but it gave us the opportunity to choose a name that represents the services that will be provided from the new hospital without losing the proud history of the ‘Sick Kids’.”

The title was chosen after staff, patients and visitors were asked what was important to them when it came to naming the services, which led to The Royal Hospital for Children and Young People, Edinburgh coming out on top. The ‘Royal’ title has been applied to the hospital for more than 150 years and dates back to 1863 when Queen Victoria bestowed upon it her Royal Patronage.

When asked, both patients and staff said they wanted to keep the ‘Royal’ title following its move to Little France. NHS Lothian then received confirmation from the Royal Family for the title to continue.

Hospital bosses said the removal of the word ‘sick’ was aimed at shifting the focus from why patients were there, which could have a detrimental impact on a patient’s self-esteem.

As well as the children’s hospital, the new building will house the Department of Clinical Neurosciences and the Children and Adolescents Mental Health Services, currently at the Western General and Royal Edinburgh respectively.

Edinburgh-based charity the Sick Kids Friends Foundation is also changing its name. It will now be known as the Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity (ECHC).