If you have been to the Royal Infirmary in the last year or so, or even driven past, you can’t have missed the busy building site of the huge new children’s hospital. In a year’s time we will be preparing to move our team at Sick Kid’s up to Little France where we will have a four-person office. Many of you will know our hospital team – Veronica, Nadine and Rana – and we will be joined by Margaret in February.

I was invited to visit the site before Christmas and it is ‘awesome’. There are vast internal spaces, roofed over. There are gardens and courtyards and stunning views across to the Pentlands. There are rooms to meet parents in private, en-suite bedrooms, a family hotel, cafes, a restaurant, and a roof-top helicopter pad. Huge cavernous spaces are yet to be filled with operating theatres and treatment rooms.

Everywhere you see the signs of pipes, ducts and tubing, a multitude of connections which will bring the hospital to life. Our office will be within Family Support which also includes the Drop-In Centre, Sick Kids Friends Foundation, and Radio Lollipop. No need for the yellow helmet, huge boots and safety goggles,  you can take a digital tour by clicking on the picture.

When I first came into post eight years ago I was taken on a tour of Sick Kids. My son had many visits up to the age of four but it had been ten years since I’d been in the hospital, other than outpatients. I had a rush of memories and emotions. One of the consultants had kindly agreed to meet me as part of my induction and I told him I was feeling wobbly. Mistake. From his look of horror, he was clearly thinking ‘She’s clearly not cut out for this.’

Without even mentioning the medical side of things, it’s all those inconveniences and oddities that came flooding back as I walked through the hospital. Desperately driving around looking for car parking, and then getting a ticket anyway when your appointment goes an hour over. Wondering where you get a cup of tea in the middle of the night. I never found the cafeteria or the Drop-In Centre.

The limbo feeling when your child is under anaesthetic and you don’t know what to do with yourself or what to talk about. Those fold out mattresses for you to sleep by your child’s bed, but no where to shower in the morning. The Seven Dwarves on the shelf above where they weigh you in. I feel almost affectionate about these memories. After all, each of us would go through any inconvenience for the care of our child

A great deal of thought and planning is going into ensuring a dramatically improved experience for parents and children at the new hospital. So will we still need Kindred? I’m sure there will be more demand than ever. It will always be a daunting prospect to take your child to hospital. And there is something uniquely comforting about getting a bit of support from people who know how you feel. Which is why we employ so many parents at Kindred. Even if they wobble.