Our hospital provides world-class care to over 100,000 sick kids from across the UK and beyond every year, however our front entrance does not reflect this status. Our world-class care should start at our front door.    

Our parents tell us our existing main entrance is cramped, dull and stressful to navigate, which doesn’t put them or their children at ease. Feedback includes:  

  • An unwelcoming and poorly signposted entrance.  

  • No sense our hospital is a ‘happy’ place to come.  

  • A lack of space to wait away from clinical areas or for a taxi post-appointment.  

  • Over congested walkways in and out of the hospital.  

  • No accessible distraction or entertainment for kids.   


We also know that 54%* of children are afraid of going to hospital. This fear and anxiety can impact their overall hospital experience, leading to missed appointments or extended wait times as our doctors and nurses struggle to perform simple procedures such as taking bloods or putting in catheters.   

Our ‘It Starts Here’ Appeal will directly solve this and the problems highlighted by parent and patient feedback. It will align a patient’s first impressions of our hospital with the excellent care they receive once inside. Our hospital should feel magical – just like other children’s hospitals around the world – and no child should feel intimidated about walking through the front door.   

The new interior design is being developed with patients, families and staff to transform it into a welcoming, child-friendly, open and bright space which reflects the needs of our families, who have requested 

  • Natural light and a sense of space.  

  • Somewhere to eat, sit and relax before, during or after appointments whether that’s with friends and family.  

  • A non-clinical safe space away from the bedside to ‘handover’ to a partner before heading to work or returning home to care for siblings.  

  • Entertainment/distraction for kids such as internal play space.  

  • Green spaces to bring the outside in.  

  • A welcome desk and clear signage to direct them around the hospital.  

  • Space for health education and to access research trials. 

View our fly-through video to see more of the proposed transformation:   

Every child and family cared for at our hospital will benefit from this transformation. If we can reduce a child’s fear, we know patients and families will engage better with their treatment, with greater potential for appointments to run to time and not be missed. By inspiring families, and removing any anxiety, this will make repeat visits calmer and more relaxed for returning families.    

Help us create a new magical entrance where patient fear and anxiety gives way to excitement and the journey towards recovery feels like an adventure. 

Can you help us turn our hospital into a place patients want to visit instead of feeling afraid? 

*Source: Starlight reducing trauma for children in healthcare

Artist’s impression credit: BDP