The dangers of the last-minute decision over Sick Kids hospital – leader comment

Moving any hospital – let alone one of the size and importance as the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People in Edinburgh – is a huge task and one that requires meticulous planning and organisation.

The new Royal Hospital for Children & Young People at Little France (Picture: Scott Louden)

So the news that the transfer of 62 services to the new £150 million Sick Kids hospital has been delayed at the 11th hour – after safety checks found the ventilation system within the critical care department was not up to scratch – is alarming, to say the least.

Was the date for the beginning of the move – planned to take place from today until 15 July – confirmed before all the safety tests were complete? If so, this was a questionable decision to say the least.

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New Edinburgh Sick Kids Hospital opening halted just hours before move

Staff were only told of this latest delay at a hastily arranged meeting yesterday afternoon. The danger of such last-minute communication is that not everyone, either on the staff or among the public, gets the message.

Such a situation is bad enough for any company or organisation. But if hospital staff or patients turn up at the wrong place, it could end up being a matter of life and death.