The Princess Royal has officially opened the Evelina Children's Hospital, London's first new children's hospital for more than 100 years.
HRH The Princess Royal unveils a plaque to mark the opening of the new Evelina Children's Hospital
The £60 million, 140-bed hospital, which is based on the St Thomas' Hospital site, brings the majority of Guy's and St Thomas' children's services together under one roof. The new building has been receiving patients since last November.
As well as touring the new hospital, HRH The Princess Royal spent time on Thursday afternoon meeting patients, families, staff and those involved in making the hospital possible, from the architects and builders to donors. She also unveiled a plaque to mark the occasion.
The new Evelina, which was designed by Hopkins Architects and has been dubbed 'a hospital unlike any other', has been funded by a grant of £50 million from Guy's and St Thomas' Charity and £10 million from the NHS.
HRH The Princess Royal is greeted by patient Laurel Brook and trust chairman Patricia Moberly.
"We were delighted to welcome HRH The Princess Royal to open the Evelina Children's Hospital in her capacity as Patron of the Evelina Children's Hospital Appeal," says chief executive Sir Jonathan Michael.
Hopkins Architects won a RIBA-approved competition to design the new Evelina and work started on the hospital in March 2002.
The new Evelina is full of ideas suggested by the very youngest 'customers' and their families who wanted colour, light and fun. A children's board of patients and local school children was established and their views on everything from the menus and furniture to the design of the building itself were noted and assimilated.
The hospital also has many play areas, as well as a 17-foot high helter skelter in the outpatients department for children to enjoy whilst they wait for their appointment.
The princess paid a visit to the hospital in December 2004 whilst construction work was still under way.