January date set for completion of works at Edinburgh’s new Sick Kids Hospital

A timeline for the completion of works at the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People (RHCYP) in Edinburgh has been agreed which will see the much-delayed project finished by the end of January next year.

January date set for completion of works at Edinburgh's new Sick Kids Hospital

Following numerous delays, the £150 million facility was eventually set to open last summer before a safety flaw was discovered in its ventilation system just days before the first patients were due to arrive.

A review commissioned by NHS Lothian discovered a “human error” in an environmental matrix spreadsheet with the specifications for air flow in critical care rooms.

A final works plan has been agreed between the health body and contractor IHSL details the timeline for the remedial and enhancement work, including changes to the ventilation system, which is due to be complete by the 25 January 2021.

It allows the NHS Lothian project team, in consultation with clinicians to determine the most appropriate schedule for the migration of the remaining Children’s Services. Migration of staff and patients will follow the commissioning stage, during which equipment will be installed and tested, and staff orientation will take place.

Susan Goldsmith, NHS Lothian finance director and executive lead for the project, explained that reaching this stage has taken a huge amount of dedication and commitment from both the project team and the contractors on site.

She said: “Despite the challenges that COVID-19 has presented us with, the teams have done an incredible job in continuing to drive this project forward. I am delighted to have received a date by which the building works will be completed.

“Planning for a move is always an exciting time, and this is no exception. Having seen colleagues within Children’s Outpatient Services move to the new building in July this year, those who remained at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children at Sciennes, and those who work in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, have undoubtedly been eager to find out when they too will migrate.

“I know I am not alone, in looking forward to seeing all of our Children’s Services together in the fantastic new facility that is the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People.

“I am delighted that we can now start to have discussions on the final phase of this move with greater clarity and conviction.”

The first phase in the migration of Children’s Services from the historic facility at Sciennes took place in July 2020. This saw around three quarters of all Children’s outpatient services move, including fracture clinics, physiotherapy services and follow up appointments for patients who have recently had surgery. 

The Department of Clinical Neurosciences, also based in the new building, completed its move of outpatient and inpatient services in July 2020.

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