By Lucy Ashton

Forget Deliveroo or Uber Eats – young patients at the newly reopened Schiehallion Ward now have access to a new evening ‘takeaway’ service all of their own.

Just days after the ward at the Royal Hospital for Children reopened following an £8.9 million refurbishment project, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has launched a new out-of-hours catering service to make sure children and young people on the ward have access to tasty food whenever they feel like it.

Because of the nature of their illness, and the treatment that they are undergoing, the young patients may not want to eat at normal mealtimes, so the new out-of-hours service, which offers a range of favourites until 10pm each evening, is an important new way in which staff can look after the well-being of the children and young people in their care.

Among the first patients to tuck into her out-of-hours delivery was 15-year-old Nana Abubakar, from Glasgow. She ordered pizza – and was delighted that the new service gave her the chance to eat something tasty and satisfying just when she felt like it.

Nana is a regular patient, and she has always found the ward’s 5pm teatime a bit of a struggle. At home, Nana’s family usually eat much later in the evening so on the ward she often wasn’t hungry and sometimes missed her evening meal. But the new out-of-hours service has changed all that, and Nana can’t wait to sample more of the treats on the menu.

The new service offers snacks such as burger or hot dog in a bun, fish finger sandwich, pizza, toasties or baked potato – all accompanied by a side salad – so the new service really is like a takeaway treat for young patients.

And Nana’s verdict? “The pizza was lovely,” she said. “I’ll definitely be using the service again!”

The Schiehallion Ward, or Ward 2A/2B, reopened last week following a move back from Wards 6A and 4B in the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. The extensive refurbishment has provided a safe, high-quality environment for patients and their families or carers, with work including replacement of the ventilation systems, upgraded bedrooms, new and upgraded social spaces for children and young people of all ages, and upgraded facilities for parents and carers.

The project has also meant that a new highly specialised molecular radiotherapy suite has been brought into use. Up until now, children and young people who needed the treatment have had to travel to London to receive it. However, the new unit on Ward 2A will allow children from all over Scotland to receive this care closer to home, and to the support of their families.

Emma Somerville, Senior Charge Nurse on the Schiehallion Ward, said: “We are delighted to be able to offer this new service to our young patients. Because of their illness and their treatment, they might not feel like eating at teatime, so giving them access to something tasty and substantial later in the evening is a great way to give them the food they need when they need it – and an important additional aspect to the holistic care we provide.

“It’s great that the new menu has gone down so well, and I have no doubt it will be a popular addition to the care provided by the new Schiehallion Ward.”

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