Inside the long-awaited new Edinburgh children’s hospital

Hospital finally fully opens nearly two years after patients should've started arriving.

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Edinburgh’s new children’s hospital should have been up and running nearly two years ago.

But now it’s finally ready to fully open next week, when in-patients and the emergency department move in.

The hospital cost £150m and will treat 50,000 young patients a year from all over Scotland.

Katy Currie, senior charge nurse, said: “I think there’s lots of pluses. Just the fact that I think we can make the children and family feel more relaxed because the environment is better.

“But also we have services on site here that we didn’t have on site at the old hospital.”

Paul Leonard, emergency medicine consultant, said: “Our ability to get to the right number of people, the right bits of equioment into help look after a child will be much greater on this site.

“Some of the equipment is upgraded, we’ve got upgraded scanning facilities here for example in comparison with the other hospital. So we get better images, less radiation doses, so definitely better.”

A slated opening for July 2019 was delayed after an error in a document meant the specification for the ventilation system was wrong and didn’t meet proper standards.

The new site includes a children’s emergency department, 242 beds, ten 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, chief executive of NHS Lothian, said: “It must be the safest building in the whole of Scotland.

“It is safe. The level of scrutiny given to this building is second to none.

“The move will go ahead on March 23. When you see the facilities, we can’t say it’s fabulous then not say there’s been a cost.

“What we’ve not had is this facility for two years, we’ve had to cope with the previous facility.

“But I have to say, it’s about the quality of staff, we’ve got outstanding staff that provide fabulous services everyday of the week.”