Welcome to Sky Ward at Evelina London Transforming care for children, young people and their families

Thanks to the generous support of the Khoo Teck Puat UK Foundation, the doors of Evelina London's brand new cardiology and intensive care ward - Sky Ward - have now opened. We are immensely proud of the state-of-the-art clinical facility that your gift has made possible. The creation of Sky Ward means Evelina London can do more of what they do best - providing the quality care and specialist services that children need, so that they can live their best lives today and tomorrow.

Your gift to establish Sky Ward has been truly transformative. It marks our ongoing ambition to grow Evelina London so that more children and young people can benefit from its specialist care.

We are delighted to share this final report on our progress and to give you a virtual tour of the facilities you have made possible.


Making our vision a reality

The journey, from construction to opening

Construction, site visit by the Khoo Teck Puat UK Foundation and installation of plaque

In spring 2020, paediatric intensive care (PICU) patients from the 2nd floor moved to Sky Ward, to temporarily accommodate an adult intensive care ward for COVID-19 patients.

Let's take a look around ...

A unique space with state-of-the-art facilities

Sky Ward is a new kind of facility. Its bespoke design combines the best use of space with state-of-the-art facilities in a bright and friendly environment.

Together, these help Evelina London provide the best care and a more comfortable hospital experience for children and their families. And evidence shows that the right hospital environment can help children get better faster and get home sooner.

With a larger 28-bed space, Sky Ward increases capacity at the hospital. Evelina London is the fastest growing children’s hospital in the UK, so this capacity is urgently needed. It will help reduce waiting times for families and enable us to treat more sick children.

More space to provide more care: Evelina London is one of the UK’s leading providers of heart care for children. Having a dedicated, expanded, cardiology ward means more children with heart problems can receive this specialist care. And having more high-dependency beds provides the post-surgery recovery space children need, so more vital operations can be carried out across the hospital.

  • 18 cardiac beds (4 more than the previous location in Savannah ward)
  • 10 critical care beds (to enhance the 19 elsewhere in the hospital)
  • A high-dependency unit and flexibility to convert every bed into an HDU bed. This means we don’t have to move children and can bring the care to them.

[Pictured left: PICU ward]

Everything on one floor: Sky Ward is unique in having everything together on one floor, from the cardiac intensive care and high dependency units through to the lower dependency ward. This makes the journey from treatment to recovery smoother for patients and more reassuring for their families as they don’t have to move around the hospital. It also means staff can respond swiftly to any changes in a child's condition and move them to the most appropriate space easily when required.

Flexibility and choice: not only is the ward bigger, but it has a range of spaces to suit different patient needs. Single ensuite bedrooms offer privacy and isolation if needed, whilst the small wards are more communal. The parent's room, playroom and staff room provide areas to get away from the ward, relax and meet others. This flexibility means patients and families always have a choice at the right moment.

[Pictured right: Multi-bed bay]

Interconnecting cubicles: Single ensuite bedrooms or 'cubicles' are joined by a sliding glass door, which can be transparent or opaque. When transparent, a nurse can look after two children at the same time. And the doors can be made opaque if a child needs to be isolated or to provide extra privacy, particularly for older children.

[Pictured left: An ensuite single room]

Extra touches to make the family more comfortable:

  • Children’s beds now have much more space around them, making a more comfortable space for family and visitors. And pull-down beds are now provided in every bed space, so that a parent can sleep alongside their child – reassuring for both.
  • The parent's room provides a space for families to get away from the ward, take some time for themselves or meet others. An expressing room for new mothers is also included on the ward.
  • Sky Ward is the first ward at Evelina London to have patient lockers. Families will be comforted knowing that their belongings are safe and close by.

[Pictured right: a bed in the multi-bed bay]

Playroom: This spacious and colourful playroom full of toys and art can remind a child of the familiar environments of home or school, making hospital feel less scary. It also encourages children to leave their beds, be more active and interact with others - helping their well-being and recovery as well as supporting their learning and development. The space also includes an area for older children and teenagers.

Dr Aaron Bell (Consultant Paediatric Cardiologist and Head of Paediatric Cardiology) talks about Sky Ward's facilities:

Cutting-edge technology and equipment

The expertise of surgeons, clinicians and nurses is helped by having the latest innovative equipment. From diagnosis to treatment, staff have access to cutting-edge technology every step of the way.

The multi-disciplinary team room (MDT room) is a bespoke area where staff from different clinical disciplines can work together and share expertise to ensure the best results. The room has the latest audio-visual equipment, making virtual collaboration with colleagues on site, at partner hospitals and around the globe, much easier.

Interventional lab

Evelina London’s cardiac imaging is world leading. The Magnetic resonance imaging scanners (MRI) and interventional lab are wired directly to the MDT room so that MRIs and cardiac images can be viewed within the ward. This helps with diagnosis and planning surgery and treatment.

Magnetic resonance imaging scanner

The space can also be used for training and teaching, with staff able to join or lead virtual sessions across the world.

MDT room

[Pictured right: Dr Aaron Bell in the multi-disciplinary team meeting room]

Central monitoring panels: Every bed space has state-of-the-art monitoring which can be viewed centrally. Staff can see their patient’s observations from a central panel, in the doctor's office or nursing station. This frees staff up to carry out other tasks away from the bedside, whilst still being able to keep a very close eye on their patients.

[Monitoring panels in a single bedroom]

Rhian Lakhani (Matron for Paediatric Cardiology) talks about Sky Ward's innovations:

Designed for children and families

Sky Ward occupies the sixth floor of Evelina London. It is a peaceful and airy space, with floor to ceiling windows and beautiful views over central London.

The space is designed to not feel like a hospital. Art with a sky theme is used throughout to create a relaxing environment, known to help aid recovery and well-being. Architects, artists, clinical staff, play specialists and children and their families have all contributed to the design, to help create a space that is comfortable and reassuring.

Kindness sits at the centre of everything we design’ (Liz O’Sullivan, Arts Manager)

The echocardiogram room has a glow in the dark maze that animates when the lights are turned off. This is fun and distracting and helps make procedures to examine the heart via ultrasound less scary for children and easier for clinicians.

[Pictured left: echocardiogram room]

Creating personal space: some of the artwork is magnetic, so children can personalise their space by sticking up cards, notes and decorations.

Personalising the space with cards
Personalising the space with drawings and decorations

Light simulations: that simulate the shades of daylight from dawn to sunset and then provide a gentle nightlight. This beautiful effect reflects the rhythms of nature in, what can be, an artificial environment in hospital.

Floor-to-ceiling illustrated corian light 'clocks'
'The art has functions that are fundamental to the ward environment, from providing light and ambience, encouraging mobility, providing stimulation or encouragement when needed and supporting parents in a time of difficulty. The art is integrated into the very essence of the ward and supports and enhances the clinical pathway.' (Dr Aaron Bell, Consultant Paediatric Cardiologist & Head of Paediatric Cardiology)

Liz O'Sullivan (Arts Manager) talks about Sky Ward's art:

Niki Gregg (Clinical Psychologist) talks about caring for the whole child and their family:

Thank you

Sky Ward has only been made possible thanks to the Khoo Teck Puat UK Foundation. Thanks to your vision and generosity, we are able to elevate the life-changing care Evelina London provides for children, young people and their families.

On behalf of the clinicians, staff, patients, families and everyone who will benefit from Sky Ward, thank you.

Your philanthropy enables us to provide the special touches and consistent support, throughout a child's life, that enables them to live their best lives and enables us to provide the care that we would want for our own families (Marian Ridley, Director, Evelina London)

With thanks to Evalina 'Evie' Cox and her family, who are featured in the first film. Evie had life-saving heart surgery at Evelina London and is named Evalina as a tribute to the hospital.

Photography courtesy of Dave Parker, David Tett and Art in Site.