Sick Kids gets a new name


Both the Edinburgh hospital and the charity linked to it have announced new names to help boost children's self-esteem

Susan Smith's photo

1st May 2017 by Susan Smith 0 Comments

Edinburgh’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children is changing its name to the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People, Edinburgh.

The move means the Edinburgh Sick Kids Friends Foundation, the charity set up to raise funds for additional facilities such as arts and therapeutic design projects, will also be changing its name.

The charity, which has raised £2.9m for a new hospital due to open next year, will be known as the Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity (ECHC).

The new hospital is currently under construction at Little France next to the Royal Edinburgh Hospital.

The removal of the word sick aims to shift the focus away from why patients might be there. It is is believed being labelled as sick can impact on children's self-esteem.

Brian Houston, Chair of NHS Lothian  said: “I am delighted to announce that in view of the changes to the age range of patients and to reflect modern medicine, our new name for the affectiationly known Sick Kids will be The Royal Hospital for Children and Young People, Edinburgh (RHCYP).

“Our vision for our new facility is to create a centre of excellence founded in Lothian’s finest traditions of healthcare and medical research. It will allow us to deliver the highest standards of care and pioneer new treatments. It will provide a safe, comforting and healing environment which promotes recovery and meets the needs of patients and their carers.

“Not only does the move to the new location at Little France allow us to join up the dots between our children and adult services on one campus, but it gave us the opportunity to choose a name that represents the services that will be provided from the new hospital without losing the proud history of the Sick Kids.”

Roslyn Neely, chief executive of ECHC, said: “Through the amazing support and fundraising of many, many people, we’ve supported the work of the Edinburgh Children’s Hospital for 25 years. But with the hospital changing to a new name, we felt this would be a positive opportunity to also update our own name.

“Aside from our name, nothing will change in terms of the work that we do. We continue to be a grant giving organisation which exists to transform the experiences of children and young people in hospital so that they can be a child first and a patient second.

“We give out on average £1.5million a year to ensure that children’s lives are less interrupted by illness, they are less scared of hospital and that their families are also comforted and supported by us.”

Staff, patients and visitors were asked what was important to them when it came to naming the services and The Royal Hospital for Children and Young People, Edinburgh came out on top.

The Royal title has been applied to the hospital for over 150 years and dates back to 1863 when Queen Victoria bestowed upon it her Royal Patronage.

When asked, both patients and staff shared an interest in continuing the Royal title following its move to Little France. NHS Lothian received confirmation from the Royal Family for the Royal title to continue.  

The move will see the age range of patients using the new hospital increase to the 16th birthday. Feedback from those nearing this milestone was that they did not want to be referred to as children.

The new Royal Hospital for Children and Young People, Department of Clinical Neurosciences and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services will have 242 beds and ten theatres.

163 beds will be in the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People, 12 beds in the dedicated Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, and 67 adult beds in the Department of Clinical Neurosciences. 11 beds will be added to the critical care department within the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

Almost £5 million of charity funding has been pledged to the project with the Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation donating £2m on top of the Sick Kids Friends Foundation input.

Construction of the new hospital building continues and preparations are well under way for the moves.