The £10 million Tayside Children’s Hospital at Ninewells in Dundee was formally opened on Wednesday June 7th by TV and radio personality Fred MacAulay.
Fred, a former Rector of the University of Dundee, was involved in the fundraising campaign to support the hospital and was delighted to be at Ninewells to see the new facilities.
“I am thrilled to be helping with this advancement in children’s medical care, and it is fantastic to see the excellent new facilities that are being provided in the Children’s Hospital,” said Fred.
“As a parent myself I hope that it gives comfort to other families to know that there’s such a high quality, dedicated unit for their children should they ever need it.”
A joint venture between NHS Tayside and the University of Dundee, the Tayside Children’s Hospital provides purpose-built facilities centred on the needs of children, from birth to the age of sixteen, and their families. The project has been financed through a mix of University, NHS and charitable funding.
The hospital is unique within the UK in being named after a region rather than a city, which reflects the fact that the core facilities will service children across Dundee, Angus, Perth & Kinross and north-east Fife. The hospital also hosts some specialised services which cater for a wider area across north and eastern Scotland.
Unlike the other children’s hospitals in Scotland, it is an integral part of a large acute teaching hospital and therefore has ready access to the facilities and equipment that such a hospital can provide. It is also unusual in having such a large research facility closely integrated with its clinical facilities.
The hospital has been developed and the new facilities designed across several wards in Ninewells Hospital, linked to a new building.
The wards have now been reconstructed to include new children’s wards, neonatal unit and outpatient clinic, and a new paediatric operating theatre has been created. There are indoor and outdoor play areas and accommodation for families which allows them to stay in the hospital while their children receive treatment. Additionally, new research laboratories and offices have been developed.
Principal of the University of Dundee, Sir Alan Langlands, welcomed the new children’s hospital. “This is an excellent new facility which will be of great value to children and families. As a University with a first class medical school embedded within Ninewells Hospital we are committed to translating the best research into care and treatments delivered to patients. The Tayside Children’s Hospital is a very visible example of what can be achieved by the University and the NHS working together,” said Sir Alan.
Chair of NHS Tayside, Mr Peter Bates, said, “The new hospital delivers specialist services in a modern, family-friendly environment for babies and children, and their families, from across the whole of Tayside.”
“We are very proud of all the hard work and effort which has made this possible and it is another example of what can be accomplished when we work closely with our university colleagues.”
The hospital will allow researchers and clinicians to work more closely together. Previously the researchers were located on the other side of the hospital campus, away from the children’s wards. Now facilities have been integrated in one area making it much easier to link research with patient care.
“Our big idea was to bring all of us working on children’s health, researchers and clinicians, close together so that we can spark ideas off each other and help translate new research discoveries into new treatments,” said Professor Richard Olver, Head of the Division of Maternal & Child Health Sciences at the University of Dundee.
“This state-of-the-art facility is going to be extremely valuable as we move ahead with a wide range of child-focussed research in Tayside, including research in diabetes, asthma, cystic fibrosis, epilepsy and disorders associated with prematurity. We will also now be able to increase our participation in patient clinical trials and play a full part in the Scottish Executive Health Department’s Medicines for Children initiative, which aims to increase our knowledge about drugs which we use routinely but have never been fully tested in children.”
Going into hospital can be overwhelming for anyone but the new child-centred facilities means youngsters can be treated in a less daunting environment with their family members close. The collaboration between doctors and researchers in the different departments of the hospital also means the children’s treatment is better coordinated and their journey through their various treatments is more streamlined, resulting in improved patient care.
Dr Martin Kirkpatrick, Clinical Group Leader for Women and Child Health at NHS Tayside, said, “Caring for our child patients has always been our number one priority and the opening of these new facilities marks the culmination of many years of hard work to bring all of our children’s medical services together.”
“Children do have very particular healthcare needs and the specialist services we now provide on one family-friendly site are a huge benefit to our patients.”
“The bright colours and airy spaces which now greet children attending the hospital are a more appropriate environment in which to treat them and the staff believe the new surroundings do make a difference to our patient care.”
The following bodies all contributed to the fundraising for the Tayside Children’s Hospital:
Caring for Kids
Cystic Fibrosis Trust
Dunhill Medical Trust
European Regional Development Fund
NHS Tayside Endowment Fund
Ronald McDonald Children’s Charity
Scottish Enterprise Tayside
Scottish Executive Health Department
University of Dundee
AM Pilkington Charitable Trust
Rotary Club of Abertay
Soroptimists International (Dundee & Edinburgh)
Tayside Children with Cancer & Leukaemia
About the UNIVERSITY OF DUNDEE
UNIVERSITY OF DUNDEE