A north-east medical director has spoken of his support for a joint planning application between a children’s charity and a health board.
Charlie House, founded by Tracy Johnstone, supports babies, children and young people with complex disabilities and life-limiting conditions.
It submitted a planning application to Aberdeen City Council last month in conjunction with NHS Grampian.
The proposals outline the layout for a new state-of-the-art specialist support facility.
It will comprise eight bedrooms with extra family accommodation, set in four acres of ground and include activities such as a sensory room, library, soft play area, therapy room, outdoor play area and a room for end-of-life care and bereavement.
Professor Nick Fluck, medical director at NHS Grampian, said: “I think this is a fantastic partnership and I think it’s a real example of classic collaborative working.
“We’ve got a long track record in Grampian of working with the third sector charities and other groups.
“This has been a long-standing collaboration where we’ve teamed up with Charlie House for what is a really great project.
“When you bring together charitable groups, the community and clinical services, you just get a better service.
“Having personally met some of the people involved in this project, it’s truly inspirational.
“There’s some really heart-rending stories here and the motivation that people have given to try and transform the situation for other families in the north-east is absolutely heartwarming and inspirational.”
On Wednesday Charlie House launched an £8 million fundraising appeal to build the facility. The charity has already raised £1m.
In discussion between the charity and health board, it was agreed that a portion of Westfields, currently unused land at Woodend Hospital, would be dedicated to the facility.
It was one of three sites which were assessed, the others being at Royal Cornhill Hospital next to the nursery and north of Cornhill Road, and by Aberdeen Royal Infirmary at Foresterhill, beside Woodhill House.
Westfields was chosen as it was open, close to local amenities and had good transport links while being in a quiet, tranquil setting and the centre had to be located within NHS Grampian grounds for practical and commercial reasons.
Speaking at the Charlie House launch event, Graeme Smith, director of modernisation at NHS Grampian, said: “We’re really privileged to be partners with Charlie House.
“I think you really can’t help but be touched by the stories and be motivated to help on a personal level and a professional level.
“We really are privileged to partner with Charlie House and Tracy to help to develop Charlie House and make that dream a reality.
“I can’t help but be impressed by the thought, the motivation and the enthusiasm that has gone into the creation of the concept.
“We’re very happy to make that specific contribution of the land at the hospital to Charlie House and I think it’s a fantastic opportunity for us to help.”