Children’s ward moves from Frenchay

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Specialist children’s services at Frenchay Hospital have moved to the Bristol Children’s Hospital as part of long term plans to centralise children’s hospital services in the city.

Also from this morning, Accident and Emergency Services for children are no longer available at Frenchay. The specialist A&E department for children is now located at the Children’s Hospital.

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 Bristol. Minor injuries services for children will then be available at Southmead and continue as normal at Yate Westgate Centre and South Bristol Community Hospital.

Seven children were moved across from the Barbara Russell Unit to their new ward this morning including Harry Anderson (6) from Plymouth and Lillie Short (1) from Brislington.

Lillie has 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 has been at Barbara Russell 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 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 has worked in the children’s wards at Frenchay for 20 years.

She said: “Today has been very emotional. 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.”

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.”

For more information about the centralisation of specialist paediatrics and children’s accident and emergency services visit

To see pictures from the final day of the Barbara Russell Unit visit