Visit to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children

The Sick Kids is a fantastic, old building in the centre of the constituency, serving all of Edinburgh.

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The most striking thing about my tour was the dedication and professionalism of the staff. I am very grateful to staff members who took valuable minutes out of the day, but it was clear that they were pushed.

Nicola Sturgeon visited the Sick Kids in her last public engagement before becoming First Minister. I hope she listens to those staff and their concerns about patient management, funding, and their own personal stories. I heard about squeezed family budgets, as the NHS frontline team haven’t had a real terms pay rise in a long time.

The cutting edge of medical technology filling the old hospital wards just solidifies the case that the long-awaited move to the Royal Edinburgh campus is needed. I got a whirlwind tour, and my impression was that the building was a warren of staircases and narrow corridors. The current building is full, as increased demand and modernisation have pushed the facilities to fill every inch of the Sciennes facility.

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Right at the top, I was able to see the parental accommodation, PJ’s Loft – created in the loft of the building – providing family friendly home comforts in the same building. It is a great facility, and clearly helps to make the hospital less daunting for the families of the 100,000 children who come through the building each year. With the Sick Kids being a specialist children’s hospital, occasionally families will have come from all over Scotland. It is truly a national facility.

I was also lucky enough to meet and laugh with the Clowndoctors, bringing fun, therapeutic visits to the children staying there. The Sick Kids Foundation - www.edinburghsickkids.org - provides the support for sick children and their families within the Royal Hospital for Sick Children. Their work is so valuable, and I would encourage anyone who is able to donate to this very worthy cause.

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