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Early designs submitted for new children's hospital

Building the region’s first dedicated children’s hospital at Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH) took another step forward this week when early designs were submitted to Cambridge City Council.

Artist's impression of new Cambridge Children's Hospital
Early designs for new Cambridge Children's Hospital

The submission of the formal ‘reserved matters’ planning application builds on the existing outline planning permission which was granted for the site previously. The move comes after the early designs and floor plans were shared with the Council’s planning committee in August.

Built on land next to the Rosie Maternity Hospital, Cambridge Children's Hospital will care for children and young people from across the whole region – Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire - but also nationally and internationally, as a ‘hospital without walls’. Embedding genomic and psychological research alongside clinical expertise in physical and mental child health, Cambridge Children’s Hospital will be a brand new state-of-the-art hospital designed to take care of the whole child, not just their illness.

It is a unique collaboration between Cambridge University Hospitals, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Cambridge.

With an estimated total footprint of around 36,000sq m, including 5000sq m of research space, the drawings are an early indication of how this innovative hospital might look when it opens on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus in 2025. The plans also include details of possible future development for the hospital beyond 2025.

Meanwhile, work continues on developing the Outline Business Case, which has to be approved by HM Treasury, and on the fundraising campaign which was announced earlier in 2021. There is still much further to go before building work can begin and the vision for this much-needed facility is realised.

This is a big milestone for Cambridge Children’s Hospital, not only in planning terms, but in sharing our vision for ‘a whole new way’: one that integrates children’s mental and physical health services alongside world-class research to provide holistic, personalised care in a state-of-the-art facility.

Andrew Tollick, Senior Programme Manager for Design and Construction, Cambridge Children’s Hospital

An international design team, comprised of experts from Turner & Townsend, Hawkins\Brown, White Arkitekter, Ramboll and MJ Medical, with support from Planning Consultants, Bidwells and Fire Consultants, Alfor, have been engaging with staff from across the partner organisations about how the hospital should work. Members of Cambridge Children’s Network, which is made up of children, young people, parents and carers from across the region, have also been instrumental in helping shape how the facility might look and feel in these early designs.

An artist's impression of a winter garden inside the new Cambridge Children's Hospital
An artist's impression of a winter garden inside the new Cambridge Children's Hospital

The environmental impact of Cambridge Children's Hospital has been a major consideration in the development of these plans. It aims to be an exemplar in sustainability as part of its role in providing a safer future for all. The hospital will include as many outdoors spaces as possible, including gardens, courtyards and terraces to provide access to nature and spaces for play and relaxation that support biodiversity and wildlife. The main hospital building will itself be enclosed within a wide landscaped green perimeter that recreates the feel of a summer meadow.

Reaching this major milestone is a great achievement and testament to the collective efforts and innovate approach from all involved.

Clinton Green, Director at Turner & Townsend and Design Team Project Director

He added: "The design team have worked in close collaboration with the Client but also with young people, their families and staff to ensure that the design provides a welcoming and healing space for those who work or visit. We are looking forward to continuing this partnership approach as the Outline Business Case is concluded and the project moves into the next phase of development.”

Building work is due to start in 2023 and Cambridge Children’s Hospital is due to open in 2025. The hospital will sit opposite the Rosie Maternity Hospital on Robinson’s Way.