Croydon has a new, dedicated ward for children requiring hospital care.
The £7million freshly named Rainbow Unit was opened this week by Croydon Health Services NHS Trust chairman Mike Bell.
The Rainbow Children’s Unit name plaque was also unveiled by 5-year-old Anisha from Coulsdon, who won the opportunity to design the name and logo for the unit following a competition for local children.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to open Rainbow Children’s Unit to our paediatric patients,” said Elaine Clancy, Croydon’s Joint Chief Nurse and the executive lead for the project.
“Looking after one of the largest populations of young people in the capital, Croydon’s NHS can now provide even better care for local children when they need us most.
“As well as providing us with additional space to improve the experiences for patients, their families and our own staff, the unit gives us the opportunity to deliver more complex care closer to home, reducing unnecessary travel for our sickest patients.
“I’m both incredibly proud of all of the people who have been involved in the development of this unit and grateful to the generosity of fundraisers who have supported our children’s cancer unit and state of the art playgrounds, both of which will improve the lives of young people undergoing hospital treatment.”
The new facility can provide care for almost 40 local children and includes a medical ward, surgical ward and a short stay unit, as well as providing improved facilities for patients and visitors, such as family spaces and relaxation rooms and a number of playspaces and playgrounds, funded by the Trust’s dedicated charity.
The build also includes the addition of a brand new critical care unit and children’s cancer unit, allowing the Trust to provide care closer to home for even more of the borough’s sickest children.
The cancer unit has been partly funded by The Chartwell Cancer Trust, which joined forces with the NHS in 2018 to create The Lily Pad Appeal, which has raised £750,000 towards the new facility.
Michael Douglas, chief executive of the Chartwell Cancer Trust, said: “Bringing state of the art oncology facilities to Croydon’s sickest children is an achievement we are so proud to have made happen alongside so many dedicated fundraisers in the borough.
“It has been a fantastic collaborative effort drawing on the support of individuals and groups from across the community. Our commitment to Croydon is unwavering and we will continue to pour our energies into funding support services, family groups, resources and equipment to ensure that cancer care in Croydon is second to none.”
Dr Edward Holloway, Consultant Paediatrician said: “This project has been an ambition of ours for a number of years and to see us open the doors of our new unit to children for the first time has been nothing short of fantastic.
“This unit will help us to ensure that our services reflect the needs and the complex health conditions of the young people we treat, whilst providing a calm, welcoming and modern environment for children and their families alike.
“We’re very proud of the care we deliver in Croydon and now that we have the facilities to offer even more new and improved services, it’s clear our paediatric services will continue to go from strength to strength.
“We’re incredibly grateful to all of our supporters including those who have fundraised for both the Lily Pad Appeal and the Power of Play Appeal, each of whom have helped to make a difference to the lives of the borough’s sickest children.”
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