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Mayor visits hospital to see new ‘Changing Places’ facility and children’s surgery robot, Pluto

10 December 2015

A innovative new changing facility for disabled people opened today at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.

Photo (above): Chief Executive Lesley Watts with The Mayor and Mayoress Coucillor and Mrs Robert Freeman

An innovative new changing facility for disabled people opened today at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.

The Mayor and Mayoress of The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) visited to see the official opening of the ‘Changing Places’ facility, which is different to a standard or ‘disabled’ toilet as it includes an extra wide changing bench, a hoist system and more space for the disabled person and their carers.

The new facility is the first of its kind in an acute trust in London and is available to any patient or visitor who needs to use it.

The trust’s Lead Nurse for Learning Disabilities and Transition, Kathryn Mangold, said: “This is a great facility and is really important in ensuring we continue to do our best to provide the highest standard of service and access for  all our patients.”

Mothers Hayley and Gina, who helped champion the facility, said: “We are really grateful to the trust for taking on our concerns over the lack of accessible changing facilities for our daughters, Alice and Mia, both of whom have very complex physical needs.  

“It will make such a difference to our visits to the hospital and we hope that this state-of-the-art, wonderful changing place will be the forerunner of many more such accessible facilities across other acute hospital trusts.”

The Mayor and Mayoress also visited Chelsea Children’s Hospital to see Pluto—our children’s surgical robot—in action.

The robot is a valuable addition to the hospital, which sees 85,000 babies and children from all over south east England every year.

Consultant Paediatric Surgeon and Chairman of Chelsea Children’s Hospital Charity Mr Munther Haddad said: “It was great to have this visit from the Mayor and Mayoress, to show them the children’s surgery robot.

“Using Pluto means we have the most advanced surgical techniques in the world, allowing surgeons at the hospital to perform intricate surgery on babies and children with greater precision, quicker recovery times and smaller scars.”