More than £5m for artwork at new sick kids hospital

An artist's impression of the new hospital. Picture: contributed
An artist's impression of the new hospital. Picture: contributed
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IT is less than a year until the city’s new children’s hospital opens its doors to the public at Little France.

And now £5 million plans to erect stained glass windows, musical installations and alluring artwork around the new building have been announced.

An artist takes part in the art and therapeutic design programme for the Royal Hospital for children and young people & Department of clinical neurosciences. Picture: contributed

An artist takes part in the art and therapeutic design programme for the Royal Hospital for children and young people & Department of clinical neurosciences. Picture: contributed

The project, which involves 30 different artists, has been collaborated directly with patients and their families to create a unique and therapeutic design programme suited to their needs.

Waiting areas will be enhanced with bespoke furniture, soft play areas and digital technology, while interview rooms will each be designed with their own individual theme.

Tom Littlewood, projects director, said: “There is extensive research which demonstrates that art and therapeutic design can help reduce stress and promote patient recovery.

“Our programme has been built around working with staff, patients and artists to enrich the patient experience, particularly within arrival, waiting, treatment and ward spaces to promote a sense of identity and distinctiveness within the hospital environment.”

The brand new facility will be home to services from the current Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Department of Clinical Neurosciences (DCN) at the Western General and the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. The new build – to be called the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People Edinburgh (RHCYP) – is under construction next to the Royal Infirmary Edinburgh on the bioQuarter Campus, Little France, and is due to open in spring 2018.

The project is the largest capital commissioning programme for art in a new hospital in the UK – it is being funded through £3.1m from the Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity and another £2m from the Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation.

Other highlights from the design programme include a series of 19 crafted wall-mounted display cases which tell the history of the three hospital buildings.

The interior design of the communal areas will also be created in a bespoke manner while some of the bedrooms will be designed with a coastal theme – after the projects office asked patients and their families what good mental health felt like.

Janice Mackenzie, clinical director for the RHCYP and DCN Reprovision Project, Edinburgh, said: “These projects are all very exciting and are about enhancing patient and family experiences.

“We will have stained glass windows, musical installations and artwork that brings the building to life and supports healing and recovery.

“To celebrate the innovation and variety of the programme a new blog is being launched showcasing the individual artists and their contribution to the hospital development.

“They continue to involve them in the process which has been an important factor in the overall programme.

“A huge thank you goes to our supporters – without the generosity and continued support from both the Edinburgh & Lothians Health Foundation and Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity a programme of this magnitude would not have been possible.”