Comedian Steve Coogan helped open an accident and emergency department for children.

The new unit at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton is the first stand-alone paediatric emergency department in the region.

Coogan was joined by young patients Rosie and Alfie Jones for the official ceremony yesterday (January 31).

Previously children have been treated within the adult A&E at Royal Sussex County Hospital.

Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs both hospitals, said: “Having listened to parent stories about bringing their children to the adult department and the impossibility of protecting them from the sights and sounds of a busy adult A&E, which are definitely more than PG-rated, we decided to transfer our young patients to a more appropriate paediatric setting.”

Patients in the new A&E are assessed within 15 minutes of arrival by a paediatric nurse. There is a six-bed observation unit next door and a waiting and play area.

Brighton-based Rockinghorse children’s charity and Sussex restaurant chain the Gingerman Restaurant Group have been active in supporting the opening of the new A&E.

The charity has used more than £18,000 donated by Gingerman to provide equipment, furnishing and new staff uniforms.

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