Work gets underway on accommodation for families with children in hospital

Ronald McDonald House planned appearance

Building work is underway on a 53-bedroom Ronald McDonald House, which will provide accommodation for families with children in Southampton General and Princess Anne hospitals.

Due to open in spring 2014, the picture above is a computer generated design showing what the new House will look like.

As well as en-suite bedrooms, the House will have communal living facilities, including kitchens, lounges, playrooms and laundry rooms. Every bedroom in the House will have a telephone linked directly to the children’s ward. The House will enable families to stay close to their child and maintain a degree of normal family life. 

Families not staying in the House will be able to access the day facilities and have a break from the ward or cook a meal.

Wards within the hospital will refer families to the House, where House staff will prioritise families and allocate rooms. This will be based on the severity of the child’s illness, the distance the family has to travel, and the length of time they are likely to stay. Families will be accommodated for as long as the child is in hospital, so pre-bookings will not be available.

Ronald McDonald House siteOn 28 June 2013, Dr Alan Whitehead, MP for Southampton Test, Jon Haward, director of Ronald McDonald House Charities and John Trewby, chair of University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust announced the first stage of the building works. They were joined by Adam, Hannah and Faith Jeffrey, a family from Whiteley who stayed in the Ronald McDonald House at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford while Faith was in hospital there.

The total cost of building the House will be £7 million. Ronald McDonald House Charities will be contributing £5m from the charity’s national funds and University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust has contributed £1m. The remaining £1m will be generated through local and national fundraising. Each year, Ronald McDonald House Charities will need to raise £500k to keep the House open.

Posted on Friday 5 July 2013