Construction of the new hospital building has a clear purpose: To revolutionise what children, pregnant women and their families experience before, during and after treatment. A hospital stay will no longer mean feeling that life has ground to a halt, and disjointed care will be a thing of the past. The design of the new hospital means that children and parents will be moved around as little as possible as specialists and experts will come to them – not vice versa. The new hospital will also provide a setting that allows families to be together as a family, in surroundings that are as normal and as comfortable as possible.
The Capital Region of Denmark has provided a historically large grant of 1.4 bn Danish kroner to support construction, and Ole Kirk's Foundation has donated 0.6 bn Danish kroner.
Sophie Hæstorp Andersen, chair of the Regional Council in the Capital Region of Denmark, describes the project as groundbreaking:
- The aim is that the new hospital building for children, adolescents and pregnant women will help move the entire Danish healthcare system in a whole new direction, where patient care involves much more than diagnosing illnesses and dispensing medicine.
- It's also important to feel safe and secure when hospitalised. The whole family is affected when a family member becomes seriously ill. Keeping the family together and creating a daily life reminiscent of the child's normal life outside the hospital means a great deal. I can't tell you how pleased I am that the Capital Region of Denmark, jointly with Ole Kirk´s Foundation, is able to create new and unique conditions for children, adolescents and pregnant women while simultaneously boosting education and research.
Detailed feasibility study shows the way
Prior to the building project Rigshospitalet and the Capital Region of Denmark, with support from, among others, Ole Kirk's Foundation, conducted a comprehensive feasibility study to determine what it takes to create the best care possible for children, adolescents and pregnant women.
The centrepiece of the new building is a design solution that integrates treatment, care, research, education, technology and architecture. Moreover, playing and integrating play into actual treatments is a common thread throughout the entire care trajectory.
According to project director Bent Ottesen, who was in charge of the feasibility study, the new building provides an exceptional opportunity to integrate patient care, research and education and will provide faster diagnosis and more streamlined care. Ottesen states:
- Research, education and continuity of care for children and their families are crucial to being able to offer the best treatment and care. That's why it's fantastic that this project has given us the opportunity to incorporate all aspects as an integral part of the building right from the start. It provides unique opportunities for our researchers and for innovating care.
Children and families will feel safe and secure
Ole Kirk's Foundation works to promote quality of life for children and their families. The foundation has a strong commitment to improving conditions for children and families undergoing care.
Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, Chairman of the Board of Ole Kirk's Foundation, explains:
- Nothing is more important than for children and their families to feel safe and reassured during a course of treatment – and to have the best possible quality of life. There must be space for the family to spend comforting, quality time together, space to play, to receive care, and to enjoy a moment of recreation – so that the child and his/her family, for a while, can put their worries aside. Treatment should in other words provide everything children, young people, mothers and families need to permit them to live as normal a life as possible. At Ole Kirk's Foundation we are delighted that we – in conjunction with Copenhagen Region and Rigshospitalet – can make our contribution toward a new, innovative hospital project, which seeks to ease the vulnerable situation families find themselves in, when a child is seriously ill.
Read more about the project.
Fundamental principles of Children's Hospital Copenhagen based on the feasibility study:
- Staff goes to the patient: All care and functions are designed so that children and parents have to move around as little as possible, and treatment and care are coordinated so that specialists come to the child and the family – not vice versa.
- Pit stop treatment and diagnostics: The building is fitted with a diagnostic centre, making it possible to diagnose children, adolescents and pregnant women immediately but also to develop new diagnostic methods for children, adolescents and pregnant women for the benefit of the entire healthcare system.
- Family-centred care and treatment: Based on international principles on patient and family-centred care and treatment, the design of the building includes extra space for family facilities and access to outdoor areas.
- Integration of research, treatment and education: All clinical departments are designed to accommodate research and educational facilities, and an entire floor is dedicated to scientific research. The aim of these features combined is to produce an innovation hub where numerous specialist areas can interact.
- The building is designed with daily life in mind, so life does not grind to a halt during treatment periods. Shops and other initiatives invite the outside world in.
The feasibility study comprised:
- Mapping of existing patient care
- Recommendations from professional experts
- User experience studies
- Exchanging experiences with leading children's hospitals worldwide
- 2016 – 2017: Project competitions
- 2018: Project proposals chosen
- 2019: Preparation of building site
- 2020 – 2023: Construction period and test of innovative solutions
- 2023 – 2024: Test of innovative solutions and occupation of the building
About the Capital Region of Denmark
The Capital Region of Denmark runs hospitals, research, programmes for the disabled, social services and does environmental work. A public authority headed by elected politicians, the Capital Region of Denmark collaborates with local authorities and business and industry to develop traffic, business and education.
About 37,000 children, adolescents and pregnant women and their families come in contact with Rigshospitalet a year, either because of an ill child in need of treatment or childbirth.
With more than 1,300 beds, Rigshospitalet is the largest, most specialised hospital in Denmark and has national and regional units in virtually all medical specialties. Annually, Rigshospitalet admits 100,000 patients and has over 700,000 outpatients for interviews, examinations and treatments that do not require hospitalisation.
About Ole Kirk's Foundation
Ole Kirk's Foundation was established in 1964 by the Kirk Kristiansen family in memory of the founder of the LEGO Group, Ole Kirk Kristiansen. Ole Kirk's Foundation is a philanthropic foundation and supports social, cultural, humanitarian and educational causes, primarily in Denmark. The purpose of the foundation is to increase quality of life for children and their families. Learn more at www.olekirksfond.dk
- Capital Region of Denmark: Chair of the Regional Council Sophie Hæstorp Andersen via the Capital Region of Denmark press office, tel.: +45 70 20 95 88
- Ole Kirk's Foundation: Head of Communication, Ulla Lundhus, tel.: +45 53 19 47 67
- Rigshospitalet: Project Director Bent Ottesen, tel.: +45 35 45 47 69