Work to build a new children’s theatre suite at Ninewells Hospital has continued despite the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
Throughout lockdown, NHS Tayside has pushed forward with its three capital investment plans, including refurbishing the neonatal intensive care unit, upgrading the hospital’s electrical infrastructure, and building a new children’s theatre suite.
Around 3,000 children have an operation at Ninewells Hospital every single year, but there is currently only one paediatric operating theatre.
This means many children are forced to have their operation in an adult area of the hospital instead.
However, it is hoped with the creation of a new children’s theatre suite, the health board will be able to double its current operating capacity for children, and ensure the majority of youngsters are treated in an age-appropriate area.
Although construction work has continued on the new suite, it has slowed down because of the coronavirus lockdown.
A spokeswoman for NHS Tayside said: “Over these last few months Covid-19 has impacted on all of our lives.
“Despite this a huge amount of work has taken place within NHS Tayside to ensure that, as an organisation, we are in the best place to deal with this pandemic, keeping our patients and staff safe as well as keeping essential and urgent services going.
“All three of the major capital projects at Ninewells Hospital have continued during this time, despite the difficult and challenging circumstances we find ourselves in.
“Construction work has continued on the children’s theatre suite throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
“However, as you may expect, over the last few months Covid-19 has meant that work on the project has progressed at a reduced pace.
“The new facility will provide two paediatric theatres with associated pre and post operative areas, including a 10-bedded ward area.
“It will be located in the refurbished area occupied by Dundee University’s maternal and child health sciences on level five at Ninewells, adjacent to the children’s medical ward (Ward 29).”
The spokeswoman added: “In accordance with national guidelines contractor Balfour Beatty has introduced various working restrictions in order to ensure a safe working environment for their workforce.
“This has meant that the maximum number of their workforce allowed on site at any time has reduced considerably due to physical distancing.”