Edinburgh's new Sick Kids hospital opens its doors to very first patients

The Royal Hospital for Children and Young People will initially support the provision of a number of outpatient services.

It’s been through years of drawn-out planning issues, catastrophic financial difficulties and countless development setbacks – but NHS Lothian’s new Royal Hospital for Children and Young People has finally opened its doors.

Today (Monday, 20 July), the first clinical teams delivering paediatric outpatient services moved in to their new home.

The new building will initially support the provision of a number of outpatient services including, fracture clinics, physiotherapy services and follow up appointments for patients who have recently had surgery.

Clinical teams at the new Royal Hospital for Children and Young People unpacking

Alongside the delivery of outpatient face to face appointments, NHS Lothian is continuing to use video call technology ‘Near Me’ for a number of appointments, offering greater flexibility as well as reducing the need for families to travel in order to attend in person.

Dr Edward Doyle, Associate Divisional Medical Director, Women’s and Children’s Services, NHS Lothian said: “The Royal Hospital for Children and Young people is such a fantastic facility for patients, their families and our staff.

"I know how much this move means to my colleagues, so it is wonderful to see the first clinical teams unpacking and settling in to their new home ahead of welcoming their first patients.”

The move, as well as the offering of both face to face and virtual appointments, will help to ensure that NHS Lothian can continue to deliver paediatric clinics in a way which fully adheres to and supports social distancing, whilst freeing up space at the existing Royal Hospital for Sick Children site.

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The new Royal Hospital for Children and Young People (RHCYP).

Dorothy Hanley, Commissioning Manager for Children and Young People’s Services at NHS Lothian, said that welcoming the first teams to the building has been “an exciting moment".

She added: “The new facilities were designed with support and input from children, their families and our staff. They really are special, and now, as we welcome the first teams and patients through the doors, you can really see the building coming to life.”

While the first outpatient services settle into their new home, work on the final stages of the remedial and enhancement work in other areas of the building continues.

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Once this has been completed, and following final commissioning, the second phase in the move of NHS Lothian’s Children’s services will take place. At this point, those services still situated at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children site will also move.

Susan Goldsmith, Finance Director and Executive Lead for the project, NHS Lothian said: “Seeing the first teams unpack and settle into their new home with such enthusiasm and excitement is really fantastic.

“I know that across Edinburgh and the Lothians lots of people have a connection to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, and for many the site will always hold a special place in their hearts.

"As we open the doors to the new Royal Hospital for Children and Young People and welcome our first outpatients, I hope however, that it will be evident just how great this new facility is, and how much of an impact it will have for future generations.

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“To reach this stage has taken a huge amount of work, not only from the contractors on site, but from our own project and clinical teams as well. As work continues in other areas of the building, I would like to express my thanks for the support, engagement and dedication that has and continues to be demonstrated by all.”

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