Edinburgh's new Sick Kids hospital will open fully on March 23

Edinburgh’s new Sick Kids hospital will become fully operational in two weeks – a year and eight months after it was scheduled to open.

Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 3:03 pm
Updated Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 3:12 pm
Inside the new hospital    Picture: Chris Watt
Inside the new hospital Picture: Chris Watt

The £150 million building at Little France will open fully on Tuesday March 23, NHS Lothian confirmed.

Most outpatient services have already made the switch to the new site next to the Royal Infimary, but the remaining children’s services – including accident and emergency – will move from the current building at Sciennes by that date.

NHS Lothian said the new Royal Hospital for Children and Young People would deliver local, regional and national services in some of the most modern and best-designed healthcare facilities in the world.

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The new Sick Kids hospital Picture: Scott Louden

The connection to the Royal Infirmary means paediatric care, specialist neonatal care, neurosciences and both emergency departments are now all on the same site, reducing the need for emergency transfers between hospitals and allowing teams to share skills and expertise.

The opening planned for July 2019 was cancelled at the last minute after it was discovered ventilation in critical care areas did not meet national standards.

The new hospital includes 242 beds, 10 wards – both inpatient and day care, 10 theatres, therapy departments, outpatients, physical and mental health specialities on one site, outdoor play areas, an art and therapeutic design programme worth over £5 million, a helipad and Ronald McDonald House, accommodation for families of paediatric patients. There is also inpatient bedside entertainment and public WiFi

Calum Campbell, chief executive of NHS Lothian, said: “I am delighted to announce that the new Royal Hospital for Children and Young People will fully open on March 23, 2021, bringing world class clinical facilities to the people of Lothian.

“Our wish for this project was for it to be designed in collaboration with patients and their families, as well as our staff, and the facilities that are available within the hospital are testament to the success of that approach. The spaces are welcoming, but also fun; intended to put children and young people at ease at a time when they might otherwise be frightened, unsure or upset. The designed space is complemented by the inclusion of the latest clinical thinking and technology, enabling our teams to provide the best treatment and care for our patients not just now, but for years to come.”

The full opening of the site, follows a commissioning stage, where the remaining facilities were extensively checked, equipment was tested and staff orientation took place.

Ms Susan Goldsmith, director of finance and executive lead for the project, said a huge amount of work had taken place to get to this point.

She said: “Many teams and individuals have helped with this incredibly important project and I would like to take a moment to express my thanks to them all for their diligence and commitment.

“I am delighted that the remaining services will soon move to the hospital. It will be a fantastic moment to see the building fully open and for our patients to benefit from the amazing facilities that are on offer.”

From 8am on Tuesday March 23, all patients and any child or young person requiring access to A&E must go to the new hospital. Its A&E is located next to the Royal Infirmary emergency department.

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