Major revamp at St Cross children’s unit with funding pledge

Nurses with a set of scales donated by the Friends of St Cross. Photo: Bob Mercer. NB: The nurse is holding a doll, not a baby NNL-170506-133722001
Nurses with a set of scales donated by the Friends of St Cross. Photo: Bob Mercer. NB: The nurse is holding a doll, not a baby NNL-170506-133722001

The children’s outpatient unit at the Hospital of St Cross in Rugby is set to be transformed thanks to a major funding commitment of more than £23,000.

Children and parents will benefit from an outside play area, a buggy park, new changing areas, a breastfeeding room and a general redecoration at the unit.

Sister Pat Whittle when the children's outpatient unit was first opened in 2015. Photo: UHCW NNL-170506-133627001

Sister Pat Whittle when the children's outpatient unit was first opened in 2015. Photo: UHCW NNL-170506-133627001

Friends of St Cross has committed to raise at least £23,000 for this project, and the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire Charity is also contributing to the refurbishment.

A purpose-built children’s outpatient unit opened in 2015 but the team has ambitious plans to give it a revamp inside and out to make young patients feel more comfortable.

Sue Ellis, lead nurse for paediatrics at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, which manages the hospital, said the project will make a big difference.

“We’re so grateful to the Friends of St Cross and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire Charity for their commitment to this project,” she said.

A stadiometer donated by the Friends of St Cross when the unit moved to Hawthorn Ward. Photo: Navin Mistry NNL-170506-133733001

A stadiometer donated by the Friends of St Cross when the unit moved to Hawthorn Ward. Photo: Navin Mistry NNL-170506-133733001

“While we have seen massive improvements to the children’s outpatients service since we moved to the standalone building, we want to do more to improve the experience for our young patients.

“The new buggy park will free up space in the waiting area, while the outside play area will allow older children to work off some of their energy!

Improvements will include:

• a secure buggy park outside the unit where mums and dads can safely leave their buggies while bringing their babies and toddlers for appointments

• a new changing area for infants and children with complex needs

• a breastfeeding room

• an outside play area for older children

• redecoration of the unit to make it more attractive for young patients

It is hoped the project will be completed in the autumn – updates will be published on the Friends of St Cross website and Facebook page.

Friends of St Cross chairman Willy Goldschmidt said: “We have been delighted to support the children’s outpatient service with small pieces of equipment which have made a difference on its journey from two clinic rooms at the end of Rowan Ward to its new child-friendly location after a short spell in the old Hawthorn ward.

“We have no doubt that the people of Rugby will be pleased to know that this project will bring the services available in Rugby onto a par with those offered at Coventry.”

Parents’ groups who are interested in supporting this project are invited to contact the Friends by email at communications@fsx.org.uk.

For more information about University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire Charity, visit www.uhcwcharity.org.