NHS Lothian apologises ahead of new Sick Kids hospital opening

NHS Lothian has apologised to patients ahead of the delayed opening of the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People in Edinburgh.

Chief Executive Calum Campbell in The Pod area at the new Royal Hospital for Children and Young People Edinburgh. Picture date: Thursday March 18, 2021.
Chief Executive Calum Campbell in The Pod area at the new Royal Hospital for Children and Young People Edinburgh. Picture date: Thursday March 18, 2021.

The £150 million hospital was first due to open in winter 2012, but has faced a decade of delays.

An opening date was set for July 2019, but the move was cancelled at the last minute by Health Secretary Jeane Freeman after final inspections revealed the ventilation system in critical care did not meet national standards. Further checks on the building revealed issues with drainage, water, electrical and fire systems.

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Children’s services have gradually moved to the new site in the Edinburgh BioQuarter during the past year, and NHS Lothian has announced it is ready for the final stages of the move on Tuesday.

Calum Campbell, NHS Lothian chief executive, apologised for the delay and said the problems identified in July 2019 have been resolved.

“We’re sorry there has been a delay,” he said.

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“What I would say is we’ve taken the opportunity of that delay to fix the problem of the air changes in the critical air unit, that has been sorted.

“We’ve also taken the opportunity to upgrade other parts of the building. So you’re in the safest hospital in the UK, Europe, probably the world.

“It’s a fabulous facility – I don’t want to see children in hospital, but if they have to be in hospital this is the place to be.”

The new site includes a children’s emergency department, 242 beds, 10 theatres and wards, outdoor play areas and physical and mental health specialities in one place.

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