Halfway point reached in £2m fundraiser for new facility for sick babies

Funds are being raised for specialist equipment and clinical services for premature and sick babies and their families.

A major fundraising campaign to raise £2m to help ‘deliver the difference’ at the new Baird Family Hospital in Aberdeen has reached its halfway point.

The Archie Foundation has raised £1m towards funding finishing touches and additional specialist equipment which organisers say transform the hospital, near Aberdeen Royal Children’s Hospital, into a world-class facility.

NHS Grampian chairperson Alison Evison and Paula Cormack, chief executive of The Archie Foundation, gathered with NHS Grampian members of staff to make their mark and colour in the billboard signs outside the Baird Family Hospital site.

Archie was set up in 2000 to improve experiences and outcomes in healthcare and bereavement for babies, children and their families across the north of Scotland.

The charity funds specialist roles and projects at Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital as well as the Highland Children’s Unit in Inverness, Tayside Children’s Hospital in Dundee and Dr Gray’s Hospital, Elgin.

The £2m being raised by Archie will enhance the clinical services to make hospital stays more comfortable and easier for premature and sick babies and their families, including the provision of financial grants and accommodation.

Paula Cormack, chief executive of the Archie Foundation, said today was a “huge” milestone.

She said: “Reaching the halfway point in the campaign is significant. We’re delighted to be marking the occasion and thanking our supporters for getting us to this point by creating a colourful billboard to highlight just what we have achieved to date!

“We’re now looking to the future and focused on raising a further £1m to reach the target of delivering the difference at the new Baird Family Hospital. This will be a vital resource for north Scotland and will mean so much to the babies and families who receive care and support there.”

Screengrab from fly through video of the Baird Family Hospital and the ANCHOR Centre.E-mail

Situated on the Foresterhill site, the new hospital is currently under construction and is due to open in 2024.

STV News previously reported Aberdeen’s Baird Family Hospital – which will provide maternity and neonatal care as well as breast and gynaecology services – and the cancer-treating Anchor Centre were due to be open in 2020, but have faced delays and budget overspends of almost £100m.

Delays had been attributed in part to the ventilation system at the new buildings.

The hospital will feature a centre for reproductive medicine, an operating theatre suite and “cutting-edge ” research and teaching facilities led by the University of Aberdeen.

Alison Evison, chair of NHS Grampian, said: “We are delighted to hear the exciting news that our Archie Foundation partners have reached this significant fundraising milestone in the Baird appeal.

“This will support the ‘Delivering the Difference’ agenda at the Baird Family Hospital, in the form of art and environment features, furnishings and equipment. This will be the icing on the cake for this wonderful new person-centred facility for the north-east and north of Scotland.”

Jayne Forrest, Baird Project midwife, said: “The Baird Family Hospital has been designed with families at its heart. Fundraising will help us to achieve our aim to create an environment that is nurturing and supportive, enhancing the care and experiences provided for families for generations to come.”

Paula added: “The Baird Family Hospital will bring together a wide range of clinical services in a way never seen before in Scotland. Together with NHS Grampian, The Archie Foundation aims to continue to deliver the difference for babies and families, as well as our ongoing fundraising to help young patients here in Aberdeen, Dundee, Inverness and Elgin.”

For further information on the project or how you can get involved in fundraising, email hello@archie.org or visit https://archie.org/baird-family-hospital-appeal/.

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