Young patients are moved from Frenchay to Bristol Children's Hospital

Gazette Series: Lillie Short with her mum Kelly and gran Lynn Lillie Short with her mum Kelly and gran Lynn

YOUNG patients are no longer being treated at Frenchay Hospital after services were moved to Bristol.

Accident and Emergency Services for children and specialist paediatric services have been centralised at Bristol Children’s Hospital ahead of the downgrading of Frenchay Hospital.

Admissions prior to the move yesterday (May 7) had been limited and only seven children were moved across from children’s ward the Barbara Russell Unit to the new ward in Bristol.

They included one-year-old Lillie Short, from Brislington, who had been a patient at Frenchay since January. She has a condition that causes her to have severe seizures.

Her mum Kelly said: “The staff at Frenchay have been brilliant and fantastic.

“It will be sad to leave Barbara Russell but it will be good to have all children’s services in one place at the children’s hospital.”

Harry Anderson, 6, from Plymouth, was also among those who moved to the children’s hospital. .

Harry had also been at the Barbara Russell ward since January after a major brain operation. His dad Darren said: “In terms of the people working here this place has been brilliant. These people are absolutely wonderful.

“If you are going to be away from home you could not be more comfortable. They gave us a lovely room upstairs and it was everything we could want.

“Moving to the children’s hospital will mean a change of scenery from these four walls though.”

The Barbara Russell specialist unit for neurosciences, plastics and burns and trauma opened at Frenchay in 2000 and has treated around 30,000 children from across the South West and beyond.

Ward sister Rosemary Cussen, who has worked in the children’s wards at Frenchay for 20 years, said leaving the ward had been ‘very emotional’.

She added: “It is very sad to say goodbye to Frenchay but this is mixed with great excitement at what lies ahead.

“It’s really important that children’s hospital services are all based under one roof and that is exactly what we will have at the children’s hospital.

“All the staff have worked really hard to ensure that today’s move has been a success and I would like to say a big thank you to everyone for their help and support.”

Frenchay is being downgraded at the same time as a new acute hospital for the region opens at Southmead.

As part of the wider Bristol Health Services Plan, it was decided to centralise children’s services at the children’s hospital in the centre of the city and work on a £31million extension started two years ago. Facilities include 16-bed neurosciences ward, a four-bed burn centre, six high dependency beds, specialist theatres for burns and neurosurgery, a hybrid theatre to enable complex cardiac procedures, two day-case theatres, an intraoperative MRI scanner and other diagnostic and outpatient facilities.

Minor injuries services for children will continue at Frenchay A&E until May 19 when the unit transfers to the new Brunel building at Southmead Hospital. Minor injuries services for children will then be available at Southmead and continue as normal at Yate Westgate Centre and South Bristol Community Hospital.

Dr Amber Young, North Bristol’s Lead for Specialist Paediatrics, said: “This is the end of a very long journey. I will miss the Barbara Russell Unit hugely but I am extremely excited about moving such a high quality specialist service to a nationally-renowned children’s hospital.”

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