2017 will see the development of a much-needed Children’s Heart Centre at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children. This centre is a key component of the new all-island Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) network and is required to ensure the provision of high quality CHD services in Northern Ireland within the new North-South partnership. The improved facility will deliver crucial aspects of the ongoing care for children with heart defects, including the provision of segregated specialist outpatient clinics, imaging services, day procedure cases, a research and telemedicine hub, as well as specialist diagnosis and treatment for babies and children.
Children’s Heartbeat Trust have been involved in the development of this project since its conception and have pledged to donate £100,000 to ensure the area is child and family focused, providing a world-class service to heart families across Northern Ireland. The charity has previously delivered a similar project with the Children’s MRI Scanner Unit and has seen the positive impact additions such as sensory equipment, innovative lighting, bright murals and a child centred environment can make to a minimalist, clinical space. Such child-friendly environments are proven to relieve the stress and tension of hospital visits for both the child and their families.
Work is due to commence in April 2017 and the first stage will be to build a separate administration block in the grounds of the RBHSC which will house all the administrative, specialist and consultant offices, as well as the tele-medicine and research hub, which are currently squeezed into the ground floor of Clark Clinic. The second stage will then be an extension to the ground floor of Clark Clinic to accommodate the expansion as per plans below, however there will be no change to the Clark Clinic ward on the first floor.
We imagine there will be some disruption during this building work so keep an eye on our social media and website for all updates.