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The Haemato-Oncology Team provide expert care and specialist treatment to babies, children and young people with a range of serious conditions related to blood disorders and cancer. Patients are cared for in an inpatient, day care and outpatient setting.

Inpatient and day care services are currently being delivered in Wards 6A and 4B in the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH). The team will relocate back to Wards 2A & 2B in the adjacent Royal Hospital for Children (RHC) when the ongoing refurbishment programme is complete.

Outpatient care continues to be delivered in the main outpatient department within the RHC and there has been no change to this.

As a team, they aim to provide not only excellent standards of clinical treatment for every patient and their family but also that vital level of care and support that is so valuable to patients and families as they work through the physical, emotional and psychological challenges of what may be one of the most difficult periods in their lives.

Our team is made up of many different groups of people including; Nurses, Doctors, Pharmacists, Psychologists, Dietitians, Physiotherapists and Play Specialists, all working towards the common goal of supporting patients and families.

Our Estates and Facilities colleagues provide excellent support in ensuring our wards are cleaned and maintained to a high standard. Our dedicated catering support work hard at ensuring a range of nutritional options for children of all ages and will respond to individual requests where possible, recognising that appetites may come and go whilst children are unwell and undergoing treatments.

About the wards

Ward 4B

Ward 4B is a 24 bedded inpatient ward in the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. The ward is used by the national adult stem cell transplant service and has the appropriate ventilation and other infection control functions for such a specialist client group of patients.

The transfer of paediatric haematology oncology services from RHC to the QEUH included the national paediatric stem cell service. These patients could not have had their treatment in Ward 6A, so agreement was reached for 4 cubicles in Ward 4B to be used for duration of transfer for this type of patient.

This arrangement has allowed the paediatric stem cell transplant service to continue treating their patients under the terms of its commissioning agreement. Noting this was going to be paediatric activity ongoing in an adult clinical setting, special arrangements were put in place including the 4 cubicles being clustered together.

The nursing care for these patients is provided from the paediatric haematology oncology group based in Ward 6a. Nurses working in Ward 4B are managed day to day by the SCN / nurse in charge based in Ward 6A.

As a footnote, when Ward 6A had restrictions on new admissions and certain type of inpatient chemotherapy treatment, Ward 4B was used to reduce the number of patients who were transferred to other units.

To allow for this, the number of cubicles allocated to the paediatric haematology oncology service in this ward was extended. This was on a needs basis and under criteria that neither the adult or paediatric stem cell services were compromised.

Ward 6A has had no admission restrictions since 21st November 2019 and from then the use of Ward 4B has reverted back to 4 cubicles solely used by the national paediatric transplant stem cell service.

Ward 6A

In the RHC paediatric haematology oncology services are delivered from Wards 2A and 2B. Ward 2A is a 26 bed inpatient area while ward 2B is an 12 space day care facility.

While these wards are predominantly used by children and young people with cancer, there will also be patients treated with immunology or benign haematology conditions.

In September 2019 all services from these two Wards were temporarily transferred to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

The remaining services were transferred to Ward 6A which has 26 cubicle spaces.

16 of these cubicle spaces are used for inpatient stays while 10 are used for ongoing day care treatment. There is flexibility for either to go up and down depending on workload.

Day care provision is mainly provided Monday to Friday although is available at the weekends for pre selected patients.

During the recent infection incident this ward was closed to new admissions and certain inpatient chemotherapy treatments. This was precautionary while Estates work and infection control testing was completed and rooms were closed. These restrictions were removed in November 2019.

The ward is staffed by nursing team from Wards 2A and 2B. It is supported by paediatric AHPs and other paediatric clinical teams including hospital at night. There are no adults treated in this ward.

The medical team arrangements are no different to what was provided in Wards 2A and 2B.

Recently a parent room and play area for patients has been introduced to the ward.

The ward staff continue to actively progress various interactive staff patient engagement initiatives in the Ward (and extended to parents located in Ward 4B) prior to services being relocated to Wards 2A and 2B in the summer of 2020.


A few patients may be admitted to PICU or other areas in RHC. Normally this will be because they require specialist intensive or surgical care. Infectious patients (chicken pox for example) will also be managed in appropriate accommodation in RHC. These arrangements are no different to what was in place when services delivered from RHC.

About the team

The Haemato-Oncology team at the Royal Hospital for Children provide expert care and specialist treatment to some of the countries sickest babies, children and young people.

To deliver such high quality care takes truly special qualities including kindness, patience, professionalism, empathy, technical knowledge, expertise, dynamism and resilience.

This amazing team have those qualities in abundance and will always aim to bring some joy to their young patients each and every day.

The Haemato-Oncology team at the Royal Hospital for Children were recognised for their excellence at the recent NHSGGC Celebrating Success Staff Awards Event.

At the event the team received the prestigious Chairman’s Special Awards of Excellence.

News from the wards

Katie Knew She Wanted To Be A Nurse – While Having A Transplant Ward 6A

Nursing, they say is a vocation, but most people enter the profession not really knowing what to expect.

That can’t be said for 18-year-old Katie Watson from Maybole, who has just begun studying paediatric nursing at Glasgow Caledonian University.

Her career inspiration came from her own personal experience after she was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia, aged just 14. In 2019, after two years of oral chemotherapy she underwent a bone marrow transplant. Katie received the majority of her care and her transplant at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow.

Katie said: “I had wanted to be a nurse before my treatment, but going through that experience made my mind up. The whole team were amazing, quite inspiring.

“Once the nurses knew that’s what I wanted to be, they would talk me through and explain what they were doing. They would for example show me how to take my own blood pressure; they fed me with knowledge!

“I also think, being through what I have such as my transplant, will help to make me a good nurse. I know how the person in that bed feels, so when my time comes to nurse I will have that insight.”

Katie was treated in a number of wards on the Queen Elizabeth site, including the paediatric oncology ward 6A.

Senior charge nurse Emma Somerville remembers Katie well. She said: “The team and I are delighted to hear how well Katie is doing and has started university!

“She always has a very positive attitude and this had a positive effect on other young people in the ward. She took every day as it came and I think that really helped get her through her treatment.

“We are also so proud her experience inspired her to become a children’s nurse. It’s a real boost for us and we are delighted for her that this is coming true.

“This type of feedback from patients makes all the hard work worthwhile. Good luck Katie!”

Katie is living in Glasgow and making the most of student life.

She said: “I’m enjoying living in halls in Glasgow. I’ve always been quite independent and enjoy being out and about in Glasgow. The course is going great and I’m looking forward to starting placements soon.

“I’m really excited about learning more about being a paediatric nurse and being able to give something back. I want to make children feel better – just like they did for me.”

New music therapy for children and young adults at the QEUH
Calum, music therapist and Yasmine
Calum, music therapist and Yasmine

Children and young people facing cancer treatment at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital now have access to new music therapy to improve their wellbeing.

Music therapy is offered on a one-to-one basis for any interested patient at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital’s ward 6A.

The ward is currently being used to care for haemato-oncology patients while there is continued improvement work at the Royal Hospital Children.

The sessions are provided by Team Jak Foundation in partnership with the Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity. It is available once a week and open to all interested patients on the ward.

Patients can sing songs, play instruments, listen to music or make up new songs or stories. No prior music knowledge or ability is required.

Calum Muir is a music therapist and hosts the sessions.

He said: “We’re here to create a relaxed space so there isn’t any pressure to perform or sing. Children here are facing unique challenges so each session is a wee bit different. Sometimes we’ll sing, write songs or if someone is feeling too tired, we’ll just talk and hangout. It’s all about creating time where they can have some fun, outside of medicine.”

Feedback from the first few sessions has been positive, with some repeat customers already.

Fiona Wijetunga’s daughter, Yasmine, took part in the music therapy sessions.

She said: “Music is such an important part of Yasmine’s life but she’s been missing out on this lately. It was just amazing to see her pick up a guitar with Calum. Before you knew it, they were both playing together and it brought a tear to my eye.

It’s an amazing service.”

Sarah-Jane McMillan, Senior Staff Nurse, Ward 6a QEUH, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: “We’re pleased to offer music therapy to our patients. Some of our teenage patients in the ward said they had missed music classes from school while in hospital. Many have now had guitar practice with Calum and we’ve had great feedback from patients, families and staff alike.”

A recent report from Children’s Health Scotland found the Royal Hospital for Children was above the national average for many education and play indicators.

This includes: designated facilities for young people, which was found in 82% of the wards compared to the national average of 56%, and a dedicated playroom on the ward which was found in 100% of the wards. It also found dedicated classroom facilities in 64%, well above the national average of 38%.

Kirsty – the new face on Wards 6A & 4B
Kirsty Mackenzie
Kirsty Mackenzie

Welcome to Kirsty Mackenzie, a new face on Ward 6A and 4B!

Kirsty Mackenzie has been a Health Play Assistant at RHC for the last six years. Kirsty has worked in a variety of wards and departments and brings a wealth of enthusiasm, knowledge and ability with her to Ward 6A and 4B inpatients.

Kirsty said: “I am really excited about my new role in 6A and 4B and developing my knowledge regarding how best to help children with conditions I have no previous experience of. I’m very much looking forward to meeting all of the babies, children and young people on the ward.

“I like being challenged by children and young people to invent something new, like a game or a craft. I’m also happy to challenge anyone to a game of UNO!

Kirsty has been welcomed by Alison Dun who has been part of the Schiehallion Day Care team for more than three years and thoroughly enjoys her day to day engagement with all of the children who regularly attend for treatment.

Alison Dun
Alison Dun

Alison works closely with the clinical multi-disciplinary team to ensure she can tailor play to be available to all children and young people at a time they need it.

Alison said: “The best bit about my job is getting to know all the children and families who come through the doors. I am always up for playing board games but crafting is my favourite, so please come and find me and we can learn lots of new skills together.”

Alison’s favourite activity is teaching children new board games, but admits to not being the most creative in terms of Arts and Crafts, so if any children or young people want to teach her new skills, she very much welcomes this.

New report recognises cleanliness and safety progress at QEUH

The Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and the Royal Hospital for Children have been positively recognised for progress in cleanliness and compliance with infection control measures following an unannounced visit from Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS).

The visit, which took place in November 2019, saw a group of external inspectors audit a number of areas and wards within the hospitals, and follows a previous visit in January 2019 which made a number of recommendations.

The report published on 20th February 2020, demonstrates that key recommendations from the January 2019 visit have now been implemented.

Read the full details through our press release via the following link.

New report recognises cleanliness and safety progress at QEUH

Work to return patients to Wards 2A and 2B

We would like to give you an update on work to return patients to Wards 2A and 2B at the Royal Hospital for Children (RHC).

This has been an incredibly difficult period for patients, families and staff.  We appreciate the challenges that being out of a purpose-built ward have created and we want to reiterate how sorry we are for any distress caused.

The events of the past few years, and the issues behind them, are still being examined.

Though the COVID pandemic has impacted on the programme, the upgrade is progressing well, and it is anticipated that the wards will be handed back by the contractor to NHSGGC by September. We will then carry out final checks and specialist commissioning before patients, staff and services move from the QEUH back into the wards.

When finished the wards will provide the highest-quality environment that is fully suited to the needs of our young patients and their families. They will be formally renamed ‘Schiehallion’, officially bringing back a much-loved name from the former children’s hospital, Yorkhill.

The project has entailed a replacement of the ventilation system costing more than £8 million, with new air-handling units ensuring the facility meets all current ventilation standards.

In addition, a highly specialised unit providing radiation therapy for treating rare cancers is being brought into use. The MIBG therapy was previously only available in England, so this new national service will further transform care for children across Scotland.

We would like to give special thanks for the tremendous efforts of former patients Molly Cuddihy and Sara Millar, whose £250,000 fund-raising campaign enabled the creation of a new, purpose-built chill-out area for children aged 8-12 years, to go alongside spaces for younger children and teenagers.

Throughout its planning and creation, Molly and Sara have played a central role in ensuring we provide a comfortable, relaxing environment for patients. Their input and ideas have been essential, and they all deserve huge credit for the work they have done. 

As we prepare to return to Wards 2A and 2B, children and young people have also played an important role in making sure that the offering on TVs and iPads is what they need. Our play team recently surveyed more than 70 young people to gauge their opinion on the service we provide, and the results will help shape our TV and digital service throughout the RHC.

We are constantly reviewing the facilities that will be available in the new wards, and we will continue to engage with patients and families as we strive to provide the very best environment in which to look after our young patients.

Further information

These pages are a resource for parents and carers and will continue to be updated and enhanced through ongoing engagement with parents and carers.

If you have any questions or if you have suggestions regarding further content to be included on these pages, please contact us using this email address:

(Content first published in January 2020)