A royal opening for our Children's High Dependency Unit

Princess Eugenie unveils the plaque with Prof. Anthony Goldstone

Princess Eugenie of York, the Patron of the RNOH Charity’s Redevelopment Appeal, visited the hospital today (Wednesday 2 April) to officially open our new state-of-the-art Children’s High Dependency Unit (CHDU) - the latest phase in the site's long-term redevelopment.

The CHDU, which will treat over 400 sick children a year, has been made a reality following generous donations to the RNOH Charity’s Appeal. The new purpose-built facility is separate from the adult unit, and situated very close to the hospital’s operating theatres, meaning children can be transferred after surgery more easily and quickly. Importantly, parents will also be able to sleep at their child’s bedside during their hospital stay.

Princess Eugenie, 24, has a personal connection to the hospital, having been diagnosed at just 12 years old with scoliosis (curvature of the spine). She underwent an eight hour operation on her spine and spent three days in intensive care at RNOH before making a full recovery.

Princess Eugenie said: “There are many memories here and it’s fantastic to be back to see so many faces. It’s wonderful to come and see the Children’s High Dependency Unit and the fantastic work the RNOH charity has done. I want to say a huge thank you to the charity team and the redevelopment appeal for making this possible and for having touched so many people’s lives.”

Princess Eugenie was given a personal tour of the unit by her consultant orthopaedic surgeon, Mr Jan Lehovsky. She also met with RNOH Appeal Ambassador and former Harry Potter stuntman, David Holmes, hospital staff, patients and their families - whose lives have been touched by the incredible work of the hospital - to officially open the unit.

Princess Eugenie also took the opportunity to announce that later this year construction will begin on the new family accommodation unit, Princess Eugenie House, for which she has personally raised £10,000.

Betty Wynne, the Matron of the CHDU, said: “The arrival of Princess Eugenie caused lots of excitement in the unit - the impact the Princess’s visit has had today really has lifted the children’s spirits and we’re so grateful for her continued support. We’re all thrilled that the Children’s High Dependency Unit has officially opened. It marks a key milestone for the hospital and showcases the world-class care and treatment we provide to our patients every day.”

For further information on the RNOH appeal go to www.rnohcharity.org/

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