Photo: Susan Lockhart, Clinical Project Planning Leader for the Child and Youth Services Renovation Project

Construction will begin early next year on a $15-million project that will have a major impact on the care that Surrey Memorial Hospital provides for thousands of local children and families.

Fuelled by funding from our community of donors and Fraser Health, the hospital’s Children’s Health Centre will be expanded to create more space for outpatient clinics, a new day care area and 25 per cent more beds for children who need overnight stays.

We can expect to see dramatic changes to the current Children’s Health Centre over the next few years, explains Susan Lockhart, the clinical project planning leader for the Child and Youth Services Renovation Project.

Most importantly, these changes will bring care much closer to home for thousands of families in Surrey and the surrounding communities who now have to commute to Vancouver to see pediatric specialists.

Phase One of the project, which will create the new outpatient rooms and the day care unit, is set to begin in January 2019 and be completed in six months.  

For Lockhart, the current priority is working with architects and incorporating input from the care team to come up with a design plan.

“The primary goal of the project is to increase the outpatient and inpatient capacity, but the team are also excited about creating a welcoming, child-friendly space,” she says. “The staff provides a wonderful level of care already, but it would be better to have a nicer environment.”

Since the Children’s Health Centre was built in 2001, Surrey’s population has grown by more than 50 per cent. Today, our hospital is a regional centre for children’s health services, with a busy Pediatric Emergency Department and 11 pediatricians based in the local area.

Currently, the space can accommodate 6,000 outpatient clinic visits each year, but the renovation will make it possible to triple that number. Children who need day care procedures will have their own dedicated space. This change alone will mean that there will be four more rooms available for children who need overnight stays, many of whom are admitted from the Pediatric Emergency.

The project will also bring all of the children’s clinics at Surrey Memorial Hospital into one space where the health care team can work together and families will be able to enjoy the child-friendly amenities, such as indoor and outdoor play areas.

As well as creating a space designed for the best care, staff and physicians working in the Children’s Health Centre are keen to make it a bright, calm, welcoming place for children, ranging in age from infants to 16-year-olds, and their families. Families will also have input into the design as planning moves forward.

The Surrey Hospital Foundation needs your help to make this transformation possible. To donate, click here.