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ACORN Consortium Awarded Alder Hey Children's Hospital Project In Liverpool

Amazing designs for a new Alder Hey hospital were revealed at a special event today. The iconic new building, which has been inspired by children, was unveiled by the Secretary of State for Health Andrew Lansley.

As a specialist hospital, Alder Hey provides 275,000 episodes of care to children and young people every year. It is one of Europe’s biggest and busiest children’s hospitals with a national and international reputation as a Centre of Excellence for children with cancer, heart, spinal and brain disease. However, this outstanding care is currently being provided in buildings which are almost 100 years old and are not fit for providing modern day services.

As an Investing in Children hospital, Alder Hey has ensured that children have been fully involved in developing the plans.

Louise Shepherd, Alder Hey Chief Executive explains: “We are extremely proud of the care that takes place every day in our hospital. However, it is credit to our staff that they continue to provide quality healthcare in a building that is old and overcrowded with limited room for expansion.

“The designs for the hospital have been inspired by children and it was a drawing from one of our patients which inspired the design we will see today. We felt it was really important to design this hospital with the help of our children who have been involved throughout the development phase. They have helped our bidder to get the design right for children and young people. The new hospital will be fantastic for our patients, families and staff and enable us to achieve our ambition as an internationally renowned children’s hospital.”

The new hospital will be built in Springfield Park, next door to the current site. Once the building is constructed the existing Alder Hey will be demolished and turned into a replacement park. The new Alder Hey will therefore sit right in the heart of the park, surrounded by green space which can be seen from almost every window.

The total investment programme, including construction of the new and demolishing of the old Alder Hey is £237m. A large proportion of the scheme will be funded by cash surpluses generated by Alder Hey and from the Trust's charity. Since Alder Hey became a Foundation Trust, this enabled it to set a longer term financial savings programme. This means that year on year, the cash surpluses generated are savings to invest in the new hospital, an achievement that would not have been possible if Alder Hey wasn’t a Foundation Trust. Alder Hey also has a fantastic charity which has consistently supported the hospital. The remaining borrowing for the scheme (£104m) will be funded through PFI.

During the event, the Acorn consortium (comprising John Laing, Laing O’Rourke and Interserve) will be formally announced as the Preferred Bidder for the new hospital project. The announcement follows approval of the project by the Department of Health and HM Treasury.

John Laing and Laing O’Rourke each hold 40% of the total investment equity in the project with Interserve holding 20%. Laing O’Rourke Construction will design and build the new hospital and Interserve will provide the hard facilities management services. The project is expected to achieve financial close in Winter 2012 and the official opening of the new hospital is planned for Summer 2015.

Speaking on behalf of Acorn, John Laing’s Director of Healthcare Projects, Peter Ward, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Alder Hey to develop the new hospital, giving the Trust’s staff and patients a hospital that matches the quality of their care. Its unique and instantly recognisable design will help promote Alder Hey’s care, teaching and research across the UK and internationally, and give children and their families the very best therapeutic environment.”

The new hospital will have a floor area of 60,000m2 and will have 270 beds, including 48 critical care beds for patients in ICU, HDU and Burns. There will be six standard wards with 32 beds. Each ward will have two four bed bays and 24 single rooms on each ward. That means the majority of children will have their own room with en-suite facilities, improving patient and family privacy and dignity. The unique design will also ensure that the majority of bedrooms have park views and patients will have easy access to play areas on and outside their ward. There will also be 16 operating theatres, four for day-case surgery and 12 inpatient theatres. The new development will also include a multi-storey car park with 1200 spaces, 200 more than the current site.

Programme Director David Powell explains: “Moving next door to Springfield Park will mean the building can blend into its surroundings and become a hospital in the park. There will be views of the park from most windows and every child will be able to see green space / nature from their room. The development will also give the local community a new and better park than what they have now. Along with much better facilities for our patients, there will also be better facilities for parents and families including more parents’ rooms, plenty of gardens and a 150 seat restaurant facility.”

Lead Architect for the project at BDP, Benedict Zucchi said; “Our design concept has not only captured the imagination of children, parents and staff but has also demonstrated itself as a flexible and effective approach, which has evolved through a significant number of user engagement meetings and allowed us to fine-tune the clinical layouts and optimise adjacencies to an unprecedented level.”

Chair of Alder Hey Sir David Henshaw said: “This is a huge moment in Alder Hey’s illustrious 100 year history. The new hospital will enable us to build and maintain our excellent reputation of care, improve the experience of patients and their families while placing us firmly on the world’s stage. This is a really exciting time for everyone connected to Alder Hey as together we look forward to an incredible future.”