Handover of new children’s hospital in Edinburgh

Country's largest paediatric hospital set to open in July

Pupils from Craigour Park Primary School attended a ceremony in which NHS Lothian took ownership of the new children's hospital in Edinburgh

A scheme to create Scotland’s largest paediatric care facility reached a significant milestone this week as NHS Lothian took ownership of the £150m Royal Hospital for Children and Young People, Department of Clinical Neurosciences, and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.

Formal signing of papers means the anticipated opening date is 15 July.

It has taken hard work from a great many people to get to this stage and I am thrilled that we now have possession of the building and can begin to make it ready to receive its first patients

But patients and services will be moved in a well-choreographed sequence during the 10 days prior to the opening, beginning on 5 July.

Jim Crombie, deputy chief executive, said: “We are delighted to be moving in the summer.

“It has taken hard work from a great many people to get to this stage and I am thrilled that we now have possession of the building and can begin to make it ready to receive its first patients.

“It has undeniably been a long road, but we have been very clear from the outset that we wanted the best facility possible for patients, families and staff; and that is what they shall get.”

During the five-month commissioning period which now follows, the building with be fully kitted out to transform it into a fully-functioning, state-of-the-art hospital.

Janice Mackenzie, clinical director on the reprovision project, said: “The commissioning period is really important. Everything from furniture to sophisticated high-tech equipment needs to be delivered, installed, and tested.

It has undeniably been a long road, but we have been very clear from the outset that we wanted the best facility possible for patients, families and staff; and that is what they shall get

“Staff orientation and training is also a vital part of this process and they are eager to get going.”

The new hospital will house 62 departments from the existing Royal Hospital for Sick Children at Sciennes in Edinburgh; the Department of Clinical Neurosciences, which moves across the city from the Western General Hospital; and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, which relocate from the Royal Edinburgh Hospital in Morningside.

The largest commissioned art and therapeutic design programme in Europe will also be on display in the new hospital, provided by over £5m of charitable funding.

And there is home-from-home accommodation for families provided by the Ronald McDonald House Charity.

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