Edinburgh’s new Sick Kids hospital is finally set to fully open later this month after a number of delays.
All children’s services will move to the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People (RHCYP), located next to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh in the city’s Little France, by March 23.
The new site includes a children’s emergency department, 242 beds, 10 theatres and wards, outdoor play areas and physical and mental health specialities in one place.
Mental health inpatient facilities and some outpatient services had previously moved to the new hospital earlier this year following the Department of Clinical Neurosciences last July.
Calum Campbell, NHS Lothian chief executive, said: “I am delighted to announce that the new RHCYP will fully open on March 23, 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 RHCYP 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 new facility had been due to open in July 2019, but Health Secretary Jeane Freeman halted the move from the existing site.
Final compliance checks revealed the ventilation system in the critical care department of the new building did not meet the necessary standards.
An independent inquiry was commissioned to review issues there as well as at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow.
In May last year, Ms Freeman told the Scottish Parliament that work on the hospital was expected to be completed by January 25 with Covid-19 anticipated to affect the timeline.
However, in January, an engineering team needed to self-isolate for two weeks, delaying the final progress and completion date.
Ms Freeman said: “I’m pleased to confirm that following rigorous checks and validation of remedial works, all remaining clinical services will move into the RHCYP from March 22.
“I am grateful to all those involved in delivering a project that has resulted in a safe hospital for the patients and their families, and to NHS Lothian staff for their dedication and professionalism throughout this project, and the additional challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic.
“The safety and well-being of all patients and their families has always been, and will remain our top priority, which is why I took the decision to postpone the move of services until we had assurance that these services could be delivered in the safest way possible.”