Edinburgh Sick Kids Hospital has officially unveiled its new A&E department following a £28,000 refurbishment – all thanks to donations to The Sick Kids Friends Foundation.
The charity entirely funded the refit project which has remodelled the previously clinical waiting area into a fun but calming setting that will benefit nearly 100,000 children and families over the next 18 months.
Celebrity chef, Tony Singh, who donated his entire fee from his Celebrity Mastermind appearance on BBC One over the festive period to the charity, was given the honour of cutting the ribbon to declare the newly revamped A&E department officially open.
With patients spending anything up to four hours per visit in A&E waiting areas, The Sick Kids Friends Foundation wanted to help provide a positive experience by transforming the two rooms into cheerful, child-friendly spaces.
The first room has been transformed into an enchanted forest, allowing the kids to enjoy a magical woodland experience. The second space takes the children on an under the sea journey thanks to an aquatic theme, which even includes a tank filled with a variety of tropical fish.
A number of other changes have been made to make the space as warm and welcoming as possible. The flooring has been repaired and decorated with colourful spots for the kids to hop along, and the doors and rooms have been painted in different colours to help patients and families navigate their way to the correct ward.
Roslyn Neely, CEO of the Sick Kids Friends Foundation, said: “We were delighted to be able to fund this project and are extremely happy with the transformation.
“We want to show how the Sick Kids Friends Foundation is using the donations of money it receives to make a real impact to the lives of patients and their families.
“We find that people don’t realise that we fund so many enhancements or pieces of equipment, so that’s why we’re so pleased to make such a visible change to a high profile part of the hospital.
“Thousands of children and families find themselves in the A&E waiting area every year so we wanted to do something that would help entertain but also relax everyone by providing a fun and comfortable environment.
“We are very grateful to Tony Singh for doing the honours of cutting the ribbon as we know that this hospital is extremely close to his heart.
“As a result of what we do children and young people’s lives are less interrupted by illness; they are less scared of hospital and have an overall more positive experience so we are looking forward to seeing the reactions to the new A&E department.”
Tony Singh, who comes from Edinburgh and has opened up a number of restaurants in the city, said: “I’m really chuffed to have been invited to officially open the newly refurbished A&E department.
“It’s a really humbling feeling as I have visited the hospital countless times with my kids and grown strong relationships with the staff over the years. So to be welcomed back for a completely different reason has been great.
“The team have always been fantastic and now with a fun, warm and relaxed waiting area everyone’s experience will be that much better.”
Katy Currie, Charge Nurse A&E at Sick Kids Hospital, said: “We are very excited to have officially re-opened our doors.
“We can’t wait for everyone to enjoy this new look as much all the colleagues are. The entrance has been completely opened up giving it a much more spacious and welcoming feel to it.
“The staff have definitely noticed a huge difference when dealing with patients and families directly as, although it feels a lot bigger, it also has a private and relaxed atmosphere which enables us to provide a more confidential and personal service.
“We are really looking forward to welcoming all of our patients and families into a much more fun and child friendly environment.”