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A Changed World for Paediatrics at King Edward VIII Hospital

10 January 2016
Carte Blanche turned 20 in 2008 and launched the “Carte Blanche Making a Difference Campaign” and a miracle began unfolding for the Department of Paediatrics at King Edward VIII Hospital.
A Changed World for Paediatrics at King Edward VIII Hospital Image : 2112

1529485431 liton paediatric centre of excellence with king edward viii hospital in the background
BHP Billiton Paediatric Centre of Excellence with King Edward VIII Hospital in the background

It began as a small project that was likely to provide our department with essential medical equipment worth about R1-million. Starved of essential equipment for many years we were only too eager to get whatever we could. Through the enormous enthusiasm of the Carte Blanche team and the generosity of the South African public and businesses, the campaign outstripped expectations and changed the world of paediatrics at King Edward VIII Hospital.

King Edward VIII Hospital first opened its doors in 1936 and its services expanded over the years as knowledge and technology advanced. Unfortunately the infrastructure development did not keep pace with the increased demands placed on the hospital. We tried to do the best we could within the confines of the space and equipment available.

The initial donation of equipment from Carte Blanche virtually wiped out our equipment backlog. But what came next is something that only dreams are made of. The Carte Blanche – BHP Billiton Paediatric Centre of Excellence was built to replace our old and crumbling building and began operating in June 2012.

Some of the obvious changes have been:

  • A bright, spacious and attractive work environment.
    A staff member comments: “it changed my life; the old building was so miserable, dark and dilapidated. I couldn’t wait for my working day to end, but now I enjoy coming to work – the garden and my workplace is so refreshing”

  • A play area for the children attending the outpatient clinics keeps them occupied and the parents more relaxed while waiting. The kids call it “the park”.

  • A real “resuscitation room” unlike the old resuscitation corner with barely any space to work in.

  • A modern facility to provide interim intensive care and high care to patients needing it.

  • Spacious cubicles accommodating the child (patient) in a cot and the parent or caregiver in a recliner at the child’s bedside all the time. This is really how it is supposed to be, but remains a wish for many.

  • Ample space to accommodate the medical students - the post basic nursing students and other paramedical trainees who are taught around patients.


The good story could go on…

I don’t think enough people realise that a decent work environment improves staff morale and productivity. A little play area makes a child’s visit to hospital so much less traumatic. A parent being able to remain next to his/her child for the full duration of a hospital stay… need I say more?


More on the BHP Billiton Paediatric Centre of Excellence

Read King Edward VIII Hospital One Year On


1529485486 34 with karolina andropoulos and dr xolani mkhwanazi chairman bhp billiton