Space For Families

“Because Isabella doesn't have any vision at all, for her hearing a familiar voice is lovely… especially her brother, she lights up when she hears Alex's voice… but generally we don't have Alex in the hospital…. he just comes in to give her a kiss”

- Sam, mother of Isabella, a 5-year-old girl with serious life-long illness


Families with a sick child often have other siblings for whom family life must go on.

Where sick children attend hospital frequently or for extended periods, families are typically divided between the home and the hospital.

Bringing the family together helps overcome challenges and maintain family life. Providing play areas and outdoor space for families actively supports the family unit.

During a child’s illness, parents typically experience high stress. Besides the worry and emotion associated with their child’s illness, they are also stressed from constant logistical coordination, simultaneously juggling hospital appointments, family life and work commitments.

Parents need space to unwind, make private phone calls, deal with pressing work and family issues and socialise with each other, their visitors and also peers experiencing similar challenges.

A new Children’s Hospital should ideally provide:

  • Indoor and outdoor play areas for sick and healthy children
  • Cafes, restaurants, outdoor space and quiet areas for parents
  • Ample space for one parent to stay overnight at the child’s bedside
  • Family rooms to allow families to stay over together
  • An on-site hotel for out-patient and day care cases where same-day travel is not possible

Parents play a critical role in bedside care and greatly reduce the burden of care on the health system. They need to be supported.

St James’s


  • Insufficient Family Accommodation due to space constraints.
  • The 60-bed ICU will only have 30 single bed parent rooms, located one floor below the ICU.
  • No space for on-site hotel.
  • No quiet space provided for the emotional health and wellbeing of parents.
  • 22 acres designated protected parkland, that will not be built on.
  • No restriction on number of family accommodation units.
  • Space is available to provide sufficient bedrooms close to ICU.
  • Space for on-site hotel.
  • Space for quiet areas for the emotional health and wellbeing of parents.

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