Nostalgia: Caring over the centuries

Children and nurses settle down in front of the TV in 1956
Children and nurses settle down in front of the TV in 1956
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THE future of the Royal Hospital for Sick Children is still an uncertain one.

Plans for a £250 million development of a new Sick Kids next to the ERI at Little France are still in limbo due to an ongoing wrangle over land needed for the site, and this week calls were made to scrap a proposed private finance deal to ensure the project went ahead.

Nurses at the hospital in 1905

Nurses at the hospital in 1905

The existing hospital is one of the best-loved institutions in the city, and many residents will have passed through its doors at some stage in their lives.

The Sick Kids opened in 1860 at 7 Lauriston Lane, moving to larger premises in the same street in 1863. In 1895 it moved to its current home in Sciennes Road and last year celebrated 150 years in the Capital.

In that time it has cared for countless youngsters, and as these pictures show its tireless staff have always striven to make sure the trauma of illness was never too great to bear.

Whether it was a visit from Coco the Clown, who toured the wards in 1966 to entertain patients, or just rolling in a television to help the building celebrate its 100th birthday, there has always been plenty to keep the kids entertained.

The old wards may have seemed bleak compared with today’s brightly coloured rooms, but despite the surroundings staff always worked to make the hospital fun for the children, helping to celebrate birthdays with giant cakes and party hats.

And whatever happens with the new hospital, the existing Sick Kids will continue to offer the best possible care to youngsters and helping them recover with a smile.