NHS Lothian has confirmed the opening date for the new £150 million Royal Hospital for Children and Young People.
In just six weeks time, from 9 July, the Children’s Emergency Department (ED) will transfer to the new hospital next to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh at Little France. The facility will also open its doors to new patients on that date.
Jim Crombie, Deputy Chief Executive of NHS Lothian, said a new chapter was beginning following a 150-year history of the Royal Hospital of Sick Children, which has provided care to millions of children across Edinburgh, Lothian and beyond. He added: “This is such an exciting time to be part of NHS Lothian’s children and young people’s services.
“It is the beginning of a new chapter and we are now counting down the days before we can move into our new home.
“It has taken a huge amount of commitment, dedication and sheer hard work to get to this point. Staff, patients and their families and friends have all contributed to imagining and creating this world-class hospital.”
Preparations for the move are already well underway and staff are immersed in the massive challenge of migrating services which will take place over 10 days in July.
Between July 5 and July 15, a total of 62 children’s services, the Department of Clinical Neurosciences, as well as the day service and inpatient unit of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services will move in to the new building.
The new ED, which opens on July 9, will also begin seeing children and young people aged up to 16, when previously it provided care for children aged up to 13 only.
Inpatients will be transferred safely into the new hospital with the help of the Scottish Ambulance Service and partner organisations.
Planned appointments are being arranged to take place in the hospital from 15th July.
Mr Crombie added: “It is a huge project and a major operation is underway to ensure everything runs as smoothly as possible. “Many of us – staff, patients and families alike have a real affection for the old Royal Hospital for Sick Children at Sciennes so I don’t doubt there will be the odd tear shed when it closes its doors for the last time. However, we are confident that this magnificent new building and its wonderful staff will be just as important and cherished in the lives of families in the years to come.
Tracy Rendall is a member of the NHS Lothian RHSC family council and her family have been involved every step of the way.....
“The Sick Kids in Sciennes, Edinburgh has been an important backdrop for my family for over 15 years and I’m proud to say I was involved in the design process of some of the children’s areas in the new hospital. A lot of thought went into these, in particular the quiet spaces where people can have time away from clinical settings.
“I know that any family who needs to come here will feel reassured and will receive the best care in a really special environment designed around their needs.
Joined by her one of her sons, aged 15, Beau is no stranger to spending time in the Sick Kids Hospital. One just day one of his life, he required clinical care after being born with spina bifida, a condition that is when a baby’s spine and spinal cord don’t develop properly in the womb, causing a gap in the spine. Now aged fifteen, he will move into adult services in the next few years, but before he does, he will get to reap the benefits of the new hospital when he comes in for his next surgery in August.
Beau said: “I'm looking forward to trying out the new bedside entertainment. Every one will have a tablet that they can use to find out more information about the hospital, like what each uniform colour means and what time dinner will be served. There will be games and programmes to watch when in bed too."
Wallace Weir, spokesperson for IHSL, added: “This has been an ambitious and complex construction project. Our priority through development has been to create a new world class building that can offer the highest standards of patient care – and we have been working in partnership with NHS Lothian to achieve this. The new building will deliver significantly improved facilities for staff, patients and their families – and we are looking forward to the start of this exciting new chapter for the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People.”
Reminding people of the date for the opening of the Children’s Emergency department on 9 July, Mr Crombie said:
“No one wants to need the Emergency Department, particularly at the beginning of the summer holidays, but it is important to remember where to go, when time is precious in an emergency.”
A leaflet will be coming through all doors in Edinburgh and the Lothians from the beginning of June. For more information visit www.nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk/NewChaptersBegin