New Sick Kids takes step closer to reality

Artist's impressions of the new Sick Kids hospital. Picture: comp
Artist's impressions of the new Sick Kids hospital. Picture: comp
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THE new Sick Kids hospital has moved a step closer to reality after developers submitted plans to the city council.

Last month, the News revealed the state-of-the-art hospital will boast a cinema, special technology hubs and a family hotel alongside the 167 beds for children and 67 spaces in a new department of clinical neurosciences.

The Royal Hospital for Sick Children and Department of Clinical Neurosciences has been designed by HLM Architects with the help of youngsters, parents and staff, eager to make it feel like home.

A decision on the plans at Little France is expected to be received later this summer, with work on the new hospital due to start before the end of 2014.

Susan Goldsmith, finance director NHS Lothian, said submitting the proposals was another milestone.

“We have worked closely with Integrated Health Solutions Lothian [the consortium that will build the hospital] and our colleagues at the City of Edinburgh Council to ensure that the proposals have met and, where possible, tried to exceed the planning in principle requirements approved in April 2012,” she said.

“This development is vital in creating a major trauma centre, reducing the need for emergency transfers between hospitals and bringing age appropriate and modern settings for patients, visitors and staff on to one site.”

The six-floor development will be linked to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary via separate children and adult emergency departments.

It will cater for patients ranging from babies through to 18-year-olds, with special adolescent areas and quiet spaces factored into the designs.

John Ballantyne, bid director, Integrated Health Solutions Lothian, said: “We have worked closely with the NHS Lothian board project team and its advisers in the completion of the application to ensure its alignment with the previously granted planning in principle. We are looking forward to beginning construction of this new development.”

The Sick Kids hospital was deemed unsuitable more than a decade ago and, under initial plans, a replacement had been expected to open in 2012.

Under the terms of the new contract, the building, which includes facilities for the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, will be passed directly to NHS Lothian after a period of 28 years.

Health Secretary Alex Neil said: “The submission of these plans is an important step in the work to bring together medical and psychological treatment for children and young people in the Lothians.

“The Scottish Government has provided £36 million to ensure the new facility has cutting-edge medical equipment, and the project is part of our £750m package of revenue-financed health projects.”