Dame Kelly Holmes celebrates first birthday of children's accident and emergency unit
Double-Gold Olympic medallist Dame Kelly Holmes visited Northwick Park Hospital at 2.00pm on Thursday 25 September to help celebrate the first anniversary of its children’s Accident and Emergency (A&E) unit.
Dame Kelly was met by the Trust's Deputy Chief Executive Daniel Elkeles and taken on a tour of the unit by Dr Ruby Schwartz (Clinical Director, Paediatrics) and Helen Byrne (Senior Sister, Paediatrics). During her visit she cut a birthday cake and met some of the unit's staff and children.
The new £500,000 unit has three rapid assessment rooms, four trolley beds and a large observation bay. A separate waiting room, with toys and books, is lined with artwork from schools in Harrow.
Chief Executive Fiona Wise of The North West London Hospitals NHS Trust said: “We are delighted that Dame Kelly has taken time out of her busy schedule to celebrate our first birthday. The department has gone from strength to strength over the last year – treating more than 23,000 children.
“In the past children would have to wait in the general waiting area alongside adults and whilst staff have always made every effort to make the place as child-friendly as possible, this new unit has been a huge difference to the experience of children and their families.”
If children need to stay overnight they are transferred to Jack's Place which was also part of Dame Kelly's tour. It is a 27-bedded children's ward and was named after Jack Myers, a man who dearly loved children and devoted time to setting up Lifeline for Kids, a charity that supports children in need.
Dame Kelly Holmes, 38, started running when she was 12 years old. Her international running career was from 1993 to 2005. At the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens she achieved something that only two other women in the world have ever achieved – winning two middle distance Gold Medals (for the 800m and the 1500m) at the same Games. She also achieved a new British record for the 1500m.
A former BBC Sports Personality of the Year, she became a Dame Commander of the British Empire in 2005 and since 2006 has been the National School Sports Champion in 2006 (a role backed by the Government and managed by the Youth Sport Trust) with a goal to help Britain's children get fit and to raise the standards of sport in schools. Dame Kelly has also embarked on a new career as a motivational speaker.
Dame Kelly said: “I am very pleased to be invited to celebrate the first birthday of children's accident and emergency unit at Northwick Park. The staff working here who have made such a success of this fantastic new facility deserve a gold medal.”