New Royal Hospital for Children will not open until autumn 2020


A timeline for the phased move of services to the new Royal Hospital for Children and Young People (RHCYP) has been announced following months of uncertainty

Health Secretary, Jeane Freeman expects the Department of Clinical Neurosciences (DCN) to move in spring 2020, with the rest of the Children’s Hospital migrating to the new site in autumn next year.

An independent review of the governance arrangements for RHCYP by KPMG has found that the main issue with ventilation in critical care stemmed from an error in a document produced by NHS Lothian at the tender stage in 2012. This was despite the requirement to also adhere to relevant technical guidance.

Jeane Freeman, said: “I would like to acknowledge the contribution of staff who have continued to provide high-quality clinical services. We are all very grateful for their dedication and professionalism in what have been very difficult and disappointing circumstances.

“I am of course bitterly disappointed that a mistake made in 2012 was not picked up earlier. This is a publicly funded project of strategic importance, which has not been delivered by NHS Lothian in compliance with the standards and guidance. The delay we now face will be borne by NHS Lothian staff, by patients and their families and the additional cost will be to the public purse.”

Ms Freeman also asked NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) to undertake a detailed assessment of compliance of all building systems which could impact on patients and staff at the new site.

This has identified a range of issues which need to be resolved prior to occupation of the building, including ventilation and water systems. The NSS report makes a number of recommendations which NHS Lothian have accepted, and the Scottish Government will publish an action plan from the board along with both reports.

Due to the scale of the challenge relating to the delivery of the new hospital, NHS Lothian has been escalated to level 4 in the NHS Board Performance Framework for this specific issue. The Scottish Government will put in place a senior programme director who will take responsibility for the day to day delivery of the RHCYP from now until the site is fully occupied.

As announced in Programme for Government, a new national body will also be created. This will have oversight for the design, planning, construction and maintenance of major NHS Scotland infrastructure developments.


KPMG report

NHS NSS report

NHS Lothian Action Plan


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here