HRH, The Duchess of Cambridge visited patients, families and hospital staff at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) today, Wednesday 17th January. Her Royal Highness visited to officially open the hospital’s new medical centre.
The Mittal Children’s Medical Centre, which has 240 beds, spans two connecting wings, including the new Premier Inn Clinical Building. It will see children move out of old facilities and into brand new, modern wards with ensuite bedrooms where parents can stay comfortably with their child overnight.
Her Royal Highness spent time with cardiac patients, some of whom have spent months in hospital on pioneering heart devices, which help them to stay alive whilst they wait for a heart transplant. GOSH is just one of two centres in the UK to offer this treatment.
The Duchess also met children with rare and complex medical conditions who were taking part in an art activity. She joined them as they drew what they liked most about their bedrooms and the new facilities. The activity, which took place in one of the hospital’s playrooms, was facilitated by GOSH Arts, the hospital’s arts programme.
Great Ormond Street Hospital patient Oriel Gray (see right), 14 from Brecon and her mum Fiona Gray, 49 also had a special visit from The Duchess, Oriel is in hospital recovering from surgery to reconstruct her ear. Oriel said of the meeting: “She was really friendly and very beautiful. I told her that the hospital feels like a second home because my mum can stay with me and I have my own bathroom. As a teenager that’s really important. The new ward is amazing and all the nurses and doctors make you feel welcome. After my surgery yesterday, it was great to take my mind off everything. She said I must be very brave”
As many as 618 children arrive at GOSH with their families from across the UK, for treatment each day. There is growing demand for the hospital’s services and the new centre is part of the ongoing redevelopment of the hospital. It has been made possible thanks to Aditya and Megha Mittal, Premier Inn and Restaurants and generous supporters of Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity. It will offer state-of-the-art wards and surgical facilities, allowing the hospital to treat more children and provide an improved experience for patients and the families.
Speaking at the opening event, her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge said: “I just wanted to say a huge thank you for having me here today. It’s been my first trip to Great Ormond Street Hospital and I’ve been so impressed with everything I’ve seen and the scale of the work that’s going on here. It’s been wonderful to meet so many families and young people and I’ve been so inspired by their bravery and courage at such a difficult time. Really my main message is congratulations to you all from those guests from the building perspective and also for all of the supporters who are in the room today. It means so much to the families, both to the parents and the children and you can see the real family element that the hospital brings at such difficult times. So well done, huge congratulations and I wish it all the very best of success for the future. Thank you”
Sir Michael Rake said “As the new Chairman of Great Ormond Street Hospital, I couldn’t be more proud to be part of such a momentous occasion in the hospital’s history and I am delighted to welcome Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge here today.”
The Hospital’s Chief Executive Dr Peter Steer said “We are honoured to welcome Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Cambridge to officially open the Mittal Children’s Medical Centre and Premier Inn Clinical Building. Thanks to our many generous supporters everyone we are now able to care for patients and families in state-of-the art wards and surgical facilities, within a nurturing, homely environment.”
Aditya Mittal said of the event “My wife, Megha and I always wanted to support causes relating to child health, particularly after we had our own children. We’ve followed the progress of the Mittal Children’s Medical Centre closely as it’s taken shape and it has been wonderful to see it come to life. It has been an amazing journey for us and we’re so proud to have been a part of it. My family and I are confident that the patients and families who come here in the future will receive the best possible care, in the best possible space. And there can be no greater reward than that.”
Alison Brittain, Chief Executive Officer of Whitbread: “We are absolutely delighted to be celebrating this special occasion and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Premier Inn and Restaurants’ team members, customers and suppliers for their tremendous generosity in raising funds for this very special hospital. The Premier Inn Clinical Building will help the hospital and its amazing and dedicated teams of medical and nursing staff to provide the world-class care for which it’s renowned.”
The Duchess officially opened the new facilities 80 years after the hospital’s Southwood building was officially opened in 1938 by The Duke of Cambridge’s Great Grandparents, King George VI and The Queen Mother.