A new hospital unit which will boost medical research and improve the care of children has been officially opened by the Countess of Wessex.
A Royal visit saw a plaque unveiled at the new facility by the Countess, who is patron of Leeds Children’s Hospital.
The six-bed Children’s Clinical Research Facility was launched by Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.
It provides a dedicated area for youngsters who are taking part in clinical trials, along with access to medication and specialist equipment.
Linda Pollard, Chairwoman of Leeds Teaching Hospitals, said: “It is a privilege and a pleasure to welcome HRH The Countess of Wessex to our wonderful Children’s Hospital.
“As patron, the Countess has been a fantastic support and we are honoured that HRH will be unveiling the plaque at our new facility.”
The new unit was made possible with a cash donation to Leeds Cares, previously known as Leeds Teaching Hospitals Charitable Foundation.
The money was donated by Maurice and Asneth Benard in memory of their grandson, Jeremy Neil Allen. David Welch, Chief Executive of Leeds Cares, said: “We are enormously grateful for the charitable donation made by Dr and Mrs Bernard, without whom this facility would not be possible.
“Their personal connection to this project is very moving and we are very proud to be a part of this.
“The impact that this facility will have is clear but we cannot make this difference to the world of research without the ongoing generosity of our donors.”
Research at the children’s hospital was previously carried out on wards and in the outpatient department.
The hospital trust decided a dedicated facility was needed to help expand the clinical trials being carried out.
Professor Adam Glaser, Research Lead at Leeds Children’s Hospital added: “Leeds Children’s Hospital is a leading recruiter to national and international clinical trials.
“The new Clinical Research Facility offers a dedicated age-appropriate state of the art research unit.
“This will support us to continue to increase, year on year, the number of young people who can participate in research, which we know they want to do and we know improves clinical outcomes.”