THESE images give the first look inside the landmark new Sick Kids hospital set to open its doors to patients in 2017.
An animated walk-through takes visitors on a virtual tour into the heart of the £150 million development, which will soon provide care to more than 36,000 patients a year.
We can reveal the state-of-the-art hospital will boast its very own cinema, special technology hubs and even a family hotel alongside the 167 beds for children and 67 spaces in the new Department of Clinical Neurosciences.
The new Royal Hospital for Sick Children has been designed by HLM Architects with the help of youngsters, parents and staff, eager to do everything possible to make it feel like home – not a hospital.
The computer generated fly-through goes on a whistle-stop journey of the designs, through the sliding glass doors of the new entrance on Old Dalkeith Road and into the sunlit entrance atrium.
Yellow and grey striped hot air balloons rise up the walls, adding to the sense of space and highlighting the multiple levels towering high above the reception area.
The tour moves on to a large recreational space, currently referred to as The Pod, where patients of all ages – and their siblings – can kick back, relax and even take in a film.
While exact blueprints are yet to be drawn up, it is anticipated the versatile area will be the focal point of entertainment, playing host to singing and dancing acts from the Fringe and other shows throughout the year.
“Obviously we have worked a lot with patients and families around what they wanted for the new hospital,” explained Janice Mackenzie, clinical director of the project for NHS Lothian.
“The designs feature lots of light and colour and nice spaces for children and families. We don’t want it to have a clinical feel and frightening for children or adults.
“The Pod is a very open space – we want it to be as flexible as possible so it has the ability to show films in it, as well as performances.
“When the Fringe is on we often get a lot of people that want to come and do things like singing and dancing.
“At Christmas, we’re hoping to have pantomimes and Father Christmas coming to visit. It’s something we don’t have at the existing hospital because there just isn’t the space to do it.”
The new hospital will cater for patients ranging from babies right through to 18-year-olds so the designs have been drawn to cater for the full range of ages.
Dedicated adolescent spaces, kitted out with the latest technology the hospital hopes to have donated by charities, will give teenagers separate areas to relax away from younger children.
Special quiet rooms, equipped with comfy seating as well as workspaces, are being proposed to give patients suitable areas to complete their studies.
Full-length windows have been designed to give patients in both departments spectacular views over the city from their beds or chairs, flooding individual bedrooms with natural light and the majority will feature en-suite bathrooms.
The third floor of the hospital will also house a large family hotel – a free place to stay for people having to travel a distance to visit.
Each room will be able to take mum, dad and up to two children with an estimated 30 guests being able to use the facility at one time.
But while the ultra-modern facility promises to give patients a first-class healthcare experience, health bosses are keen to immortalize the vital service the Sciennes centre has provided for the past 150 years.
Janice added: “The current hospital has obviously been very dear to people and we want them to be able to take some of that with them.
“Within the current children’s hospital, there are pieces of artwork and a couple of really nice stained-glass windows that will come with us.
“The same will apply with clinical neurosciences at the Western General as well.
“It’s about looking at where that will be and also capturing some of the patients’ and staff memories and looking at how we can use them within the new hospital.
“It’s important this comes with us.”
The current site was deemed unsuitable more than a decade ago and, under initial plans, a replacement had been expected to open in 2012, but was heavily delayed.
In March, Integrated Health Solutions Lothian was named the preferred bidder alongside builders Brookfield Multiplex Europe.
Under the terms of the new contract, the building, which will also house new facilities for the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, will be passed directly to NHS Lothian after 28 years.
Preparation works for the new building, which will stand on the site of carpark B of the ERI, have already began with construction expected to get under way in October, subject to full planning permissions and funding.
It will be the first acute hospital facility to be procured under the Scottish Government’s Non Profit Distributing (NPD) model and the health board has been working closely with Scottish Futures Trust and the Scottish Government to prepare for the procurement process.
The planned handover is scheduled for February 2017, followed by a three-month commissioning period where staff are familiarised with the building and learn how to use new equipment, ready for the patients to move onto the site that May.
John Ballantyne, bid director at Integrated Health Solutions Lothian, said there was a real excitement about starting the project.
He said: “ We are delighted to be part of such an exciting project. This new development will bring together the children’s hospital, department of clinical neuroscience, child and adolescent mental health services all on one site.
“We look forward to working with NHS Lothian to deliver one of Scotland’s major healthcare facilities.”
Site designed to bring together expertise
THE new site will bring together paediatric care, specialist neonatal care, neurosciences and adult and children’s emergency departments all on one site, ensuring that teams can share experience and expertise for the benefit of patients.
It will provide the ability to deliver paediatric and adult neurosurgery in the same theatre suite, to maximise use of specialist equipment and expert staff, with direct internal access to age-appropriate critical care and wards.
Mental health services for children and young people will be on the same site as acute hospital services, catering for physical and psychological care and sharing high-cost specialist clinical areas such as theatres and radiology.
It is also hoped the new design will improve emergency access to essential medical services by incorporating a helipad on the roof of the building.
Bus stop to move in preparation
A HOSPITAL bus terminus will move today as preparatory work for the new hospital kicks in.
The new stops will be located opposite to the east entrance.
The current bus route – which runs past the A&E department – will close as part of these works and the main bus entrance to the site will be from Little France Drive.
Access to the new bus terminus from the hospital will be from the exit opposite the main mall reception desk and past the lifts. Project director Brian Currie said: “There are a number of development works ongoing at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh site and I’d like to thank patients and visitors for their co-operation and understanding while this important project progresses.
“Patient safety is our number one priority and, while we understand there may inevitably be a little upheaval, there will be many benefits in the longer-term as we develop the current hospital and build a modern hospital.”