Winner of new children’s ward naming competition announced

Skylark Nicole Bird and family and KGH team
Nicole Bird and family and KGH team

A Wellingborough teenager has won a competition to name the children’s unit inside Kettering General Hospital’s £30m new Wing.


Nicole Bird, 14,a pupil at Wrenn School, entered the naming competition - held in conjunction with the Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph - in December 2011.


She came up with the name Skylark Ward which fitted in with the theme for the competition which was ‘above the treetops’ – because the ward is on the top floor of the two storey extension.


She will have the honour of opening the new ward when the hospital’s £30m new Wing opens in September 2012.


Nicole, who has an older sister Hannah, said: “I knew the theme for the children’s unit was ‘above the treetops’ so I was thinking about the height of the building and children looking out of the windows of the ward.


“I was thinking what they might see and I thought of the sky – and then thought of a skylark. I am really pleased to have won the competition.”


Mum Natalia said: “Nicole was thrilled when she realised she’d won and had come up with a name which will become part of the history of Kettering General Hospital.


“Two members of our family have previously had to use the Dolphin Ward so we know just how important a new children’s unit will be for the area.”


Kettering General Hospital’s Director of Strategy and Partnership, Mike Smeeton, said: “We are delighted that Nicole has come up with such a fitting and cheerful name for the new ward.


“We wanted it to be something that would be memorable and reflect the new ward’s position.”


Skylark Ward will provide much improved facilities for the 5,400 children and adolescents each year who need to attend the hospital’s current paediatric wards (Timpson and Dolphin) which are based in the older part of the hospital.


The new paediatric floor will have 32 beds and include medical and surgical wards, a paediatric assessment unit and high monitoring facilities.


On the ground floor there will also be a paediatric outpatients department with six consulting rooms.


The overall name for the Wing and its other major adult ward have also been chosen by the hospital following an appeal for staff suggestions.


The Wing itself will be called The Foundation Wing reflecting the hospital’s successful application to become a Foundation Trust.


And the 28-bed adult ward on the ground floor will be called Oakley Ward to fit in with the hospital’s existing ward name theme of village names.


The Wing will also have a state-of-the art 16-bed Intensive Care Unit and isolation rooms on its first floor.


Mike said: “We are now in the final stage of fitting out the Wing and that includes things like fitting reception desks, designing entrances and signage and completing the fitting and decoration of wards and non-clinical areas.


“I would like to thank all the children who took part in our naming competition and all of our staff for their suggestions for naming the new Wing.


“The Foundation Wing will be a major improvement to Kettering General Hospital and a great benefit for the thousands ofpatients who will need to use it each year.”