Farewell party for Frenchay’s Barbara Russell Unit

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Patients (past and present), their families and staff gathered at the Barbara Russell Children’s Unit at Frenchay Hospital yesterday for a special farewell party before the service is transferred to the Bristol Children’s Hospital next week.

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

As part of long-established plans, the service will be centralised with existing children’s services at the Bristol Children’s Hospital – meaning that all children’s hospital services in the city will be under one roof.

Among the former patients who attended was Kray Mundy (17) with his mum Soniya.

Kray was a patient at the unit in 2008 for several months after he suffered a serious stroke.

Soniya said: “It’s a wonderful place and is like a second home to us. It is home, my bubble. The staff here are so wonderful.”

Cath Hubbock and her daughter Tara (14) also attended. Tara was a patient at the unit after she suffered severe burns following an accident involving a bath of hot water when she was just 22 months old. She spent three months at Frenchay in 2001 and has returned for regular check-ups.

Cath said: “The ward has been part of our family. The care Tara has received over the years has been excellent.”

Dr Amber Young, Lead for Specialist Paediatrics at North Bristol NHS Trust, 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.”

Patients from the unit will physically move on Wednesday, May 7.

From May 7, Accident and Emergency Services for children will no longer be available at Frenchay. The specialist A&E department for children will be located at the Children’s Hospital from this date.

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 throughout this period at Yate Westgate Centre and South Bristol Community Hospital.

For more information about the centralisation of specialist paediatrics and children’s accident and emergency services visit http://bit.ly/1mU8Qgb

To see pictures from the party visit http://bit.ly/1iBXdYg