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Last Updated: Friday, 25 February, 2005, 13:50 GMT
Hospital takes its first children
Hussain Khalid at the Children's Hospital for Wales
Hussain Khalid was admitted with his mother Shazana Khalid
Young patients have started arriving at the first Welsh hospital designed to treat children and young people.

The Children's Hospital for Wales is based at the University Hospital of Wales (UHW) in Cardiff.

The first phase of the project includes two 25-bed medical wards and one 16-bed paediatric cancer ward, half of it paid for by the Noah's Ark Appeal.

A second phase, which is yet built, will house an intensive care unit, operating theatres and surgical wards.

The unit's first patient was 21-month-old Hussain Khalid, who has been treated at the UHW since birth.

He was admitted with his mother, Shazana Khalid, and was brought onto the Land ward.

Ms Khalid said he thought the children would benefit from the new facilities.

"They have got lovely heating systems in their own rooms for their own temperature controls, they have got special baths for disabled children - it is absolutely wonderful," she said.

The Noah's Ark Appeal, launched in May 2000, has already raised 7m towards the hospital.

Celebrities including former England cricketer Ian Botham and Welsh stars Catherine Zeta Jones, Charlotte Church and Shirley Bassey have backed its fundraising work.

Children's Hospital for Wales
Bright colours are used throughout the hospital

The appeal plans to continue to support the hospital and the families who will use its facilities.

Dr Graham Shortland, clinical director at the hospital, said the new unit was "fantastically child-friendly".

"What we are doing is concentrating all our facilities... on one site, which enables us to concentrate excellence in one place," he said.

He added there were many elements to helping children get better.

"The medical care has to be of very high standard, but it also involves that child feeling they have the support of staff...and parents, who are key in the recovery of children," he said.

'Pride and enthusiasm'

Every year, the Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust deals with 36,000 children's visits or admissions and nearly half of them come from outside the area.

It is hoped that work can start soon on the second phase of the hospital.

Simon Jones, chair of the Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust, paid tribute to staff who had worked to made the hospital ready to accept its first patients.

He said: "There is an air of pride and enthusiasm in the new children's hospital.

"No one wants to see a child in hospital, but parents the length and breadth of Wales now know that we have the facilities and the skills at the new Children's Hospital for Wales to help them."

Lyn Jones, chairman of trustees of the Noah's Ark Appeal, said they would now concentrate on fundraising for the second section of the development.

"We want the very best for the children of Wales, and we want to make sure that goes in to the next phase," he said.




SEE ALSO:
Noah's Ark appeal raises 7m
27 Sep 04 |  Wales
In pictures: Children's hospital
25 Feb 05 |  In Pictures


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