Sophie opens unit at Leeds Children’s Hospital & attends nursing conference

Sophie, The Countess of Wessex travelled to Leeds yesterday to visit her patronage at the city’s Children’s Hospital. The Countess also went to Lichfield’s Whittington Barracks for the Chief Nursing Officer Symposium.

As patron of the Children’s Hospital, Sophie was there to officially open a new paediatric intensive care unit, which has been up and running since last summer at Leeds Children’s Hospital. The Royal is their patron.

The new unit replaces two smaller units at a cost of almost £2 million. The new development has created a dedicated space at the hospital for children’s cardiac and neurosurgery.

At the hospital, Sophie spent time with with staff and former patients.

The new theatre complex will improve the care provided to patients with complex congenital heart disease, and those undergoing neurosurgery. It will  allow cardiac surgeons and cardiologists to perform surgery simultaneously, the skills of both specialists can be employed together, reducing treatment time for patients.

The intra-operative MRI scanner allows scans to be done during neurological surgical procedures. Surgeons will be able to see immediately how much of a brain tumour has been removed rather than scanning at a later date to discover that additional procedures may be required. As a result, patients need fewer general anaesthetics, MRI scans and surgical procedures.

Dr Yvette Oade, acting chief executive of the trust said: “We were delighted to welcome HRH The Countess of Wessex to Leeds Children’s Hospital. The new facility will transform how we care for our children and ensure we can continue to provide the highest possible level of care for children from across Leeds, Yorkshire and beyond.

“I would like to thank our charity partners, Leeds Cares and Children’s Heart Surgery Fund, for their commitment to fundraising for this new development which means so much to our staff and patients.”

David Welch, CEO of Leeds Cares, added: “It was a real pleasure to introduce Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex to some of our fundraisers and supporters. We’re extremely excited that the Children’s MRI and Cardiac Hybrid Suite is now officially open; this operating theatre is a fantastic example of what can be done when caring people come together to achieve something wonderful.

“Thanks to donations given to Leeds Cares, children and young people from across Yorkshire will continue to receive exceptional healthcare, right here at Leeds Children’s Hospital.”

Later on in the day, the Countess visited the Whittington Barracks in Lichfield. She was there to attend the Chief Nursing Officer Symposium at DMS Whittington.

In her capacity as Colonel-in-Chief and patron of Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps Association, she then went on to the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire to attend a ceremony to mark the QARANC’s 70th Anniversary. The Countess is the QARANC’s third Royal Patron having taken over the role in 2003; Princess Margaret held the role until her death in 2002.

The local press has not picked up on these visits, but we will update you if we find out any more.

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1 comment

Yumiko Kokuryu Thu 28 March, 2019 - 2:03 am

I am very impressed with commitments of sophie, countess of wessex to developing medical care for children as a patron of leeds children’s hospital. princess kako of japan studied at university of leeds few years ago. on the occasion of her graduation from international christian university in tokyo on march 22, 2019, she mentioned about her precious campus life at university of leeds.


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