Princess Eugenie was in Stanmore this afternoon to open a new children's unit at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital.
The royal, who is the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of York, is the patron of the hospital charity’s redevelopment appeal.
Princess Eugenie, 24, was diagnosed at 12-years-old with scoliosis, curvature of the spine. She underwent an eight hour operation on her spine and spent three days in intensive care at RNOH before making a full recovery.
Today she opened the hospital's new state-of-the-art Children’s High Dependency Unit which will treat over 400 sick children a year.
She said: “I am sure [the unit] will greatly enhance the care and experience of the hospital’s young patients and their families. Going into hospital is nerve-wracking for any child; I can still vividly remember how nervous I felt in the days and weeks leading up to my operation.
"Anything that can be done to ease these worries and make the environment better for patients is to be welcomed. This purpose-built unit will enable specialist teams to concentrate on improving the condition of their patients so that they can return to the ward after their operation as soon as possible.”
It is situated close to the hospital’s operating theatres and parents will also be able to sleep at their child’s bedside during their hospital stay.
Work will start on a new family accommodation unit, Princess Eugenie House, later this year. This will be the first in a series of major building works that form part of a £90 million hospital upgrade.
Matron of the High Dependency Unit, Betty Wynne, said: “The arrival of Princess Eugenie caused lots of excitement in the unit - the impact the Princess’s visit has had today really has lifted the children’s spirits and we’re so grateful for her continued support. We’re all thrilled that the Children’s High Dependency Unit has officially opened. It marks a key milestone for the hospital and showcases the world-class care and treatment we provide to our patients every day.”