A new name for Edinburgh’s new Children’s hospital

In less than one year, services from the Royal Hospital for Sick Children and Department of Clinical Neurosciences and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services will relocate from Sciennes Road, Western General Hospital and Royal Edinburgh Hospital, to their purpose built new home at Little France in Edinburgh.

The new building, currently under construction in partnership with IHSL Lothian and Multiplex, will integrate the new Children’s Hospital, Department of Clinical Neurosciences and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.

Brian Houston, Chair of NHS Lothian  said: “I am delighted to announce that in view of the changes to the age range of patients and to reflect modern medicine, our new name for the affectionately known ‘Sick Kids’ will be The Royal Hospital for Children and Young People, Edinburgh (RHCYP).

“Our vision for our new facility is to create a centre of excellence founded in Lothian’s finest traditions of healthcare and medical research. It will allow us to deliver the highest standards of care and pioneer new treatments. It will provide a safe, comforting and healing environment which promotes recovery and meets the needs of patients and their carers.

“Not only does the move to the new location at Little France allow us to join up the dots between our children and adult services on one campus, but it gave us the opportunity to choose a name that represents the services that will be provided from the new hospital without losing the proud history of the ‘Sick Kids’.”

Staff, patients and visitors were asked what was important to them when it came to naming the services and The Royal Hospital for Children and Young People, Edinburgh came out on top.

Why Royal? The Royal title has been applied to the hospital for over 150 years and dates back to 1863 when Queen Victoria bestowed upon it her Royal Patronage. When asked, both patients and staff shared an interest in continuing the Royal title following its move to Little France. NHS Lothian received confirmation from the Royal Family for the Royal title to continue.  

Why children and young people?
Like the building itself, it is important that the new hospital is modern and relevant for all of its patients. The move will see the age range of patients using the new hospital increase to the 16th birthday. Feedback from those nearing this milestone was that they did not want to be referred to as children.

Why not sick kids? The removal of the word ‘sick’ aims to shift the focus away from why patients might be there. This categorisation can have a detrimental impact on a patient’s self-esteem.

Construction of the new hospital building continues and preparations are well under way for the moves. Detailed information on the project can be found on our website at