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Celebrating two decades of caring at Derbyshire Children’s Hospital

Published 08/11/2016
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Derbyshire’s only Children’s Hospital is celebrating 20 years of caring for children and young people in Derby. 


Millions of patients have passed through the doors of Derbyshire Children’s Hospital since it opened in the autumn of 1996, when the service moved from the old Derbyshire Hospital for Sick Children in North Street, Derby to its current site at first the City and now the Royal Derby Hospital. 


Dr Nigel Ruggins, a Consultant Paediatrician at the Children’s Hospital, began his career at the old site. 


He said: “I loved the old Children’s, as it was a fairly unique place to work, but it did have its challenges. Moving was like organising a battle. Every little detail had to be planned out and it was all hands to the pump to make sure everything went smoothly. As soon as we walked into the new hospital it was clear that it was very child-focused, and that has stood the test of time. The child has always have been at the heart of everything we do.”


Jo Watson, Lead Nurse for Paediatrics, said: “We’re thrilled to be celebrating our 20th anniversary at the Royal Derby Hospital. The Children’s Hospital has moved on a lot since our first patient walked through the door in 1996, and we’ve helped millions of families during that time. Things may have changed in relation to the technology available and the procedures we use, but our ethos has remained the same – the child and their family always come first.”


One of those early patients was Amy Steeples, who spent 13 years under the care of the hospital after being diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. 


Amy, who is now completing a Culinary Management degree in Buxton, said: “I have really fond memories of the Children’s Hospital, as I spent a lot of time there. At one point when I was very poorly I was on the ward every two weeks. The care I had there was great. Even as a young person I knew it was helping me stay alive. Now I know that without the care I had there, I wouldn’t be alive. I feel incredibly lucky for the care I had.”


Amy’s story is one of thousands about the life-saving care provided for the young people of Derby, both at the old hospital and at the current site, which was opened by Her Majesty the Queen. 


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Last Modified 08/11/2016