Plans for a specialist children’s hospital at Addenbrooke’s have reached a new milestone as the green light is given to proceed to the final stage of its business case.
This means pre-construction works can begin on the site of the new hospital opposite the Rosie Maternity Unit on Robinson Way, early next year.
The new specialist hospital will be the first in the East of England dedicated to treating the whole child by bringing together treatment for physical and mental health, delivered by staff trained in both, under one roof in a building designed with input from parents and children.
Although built in Cambridge, it will provide a central hub, working with services across the East of England to provide care and support for children who may never visit the hospital itself.
The hospital was given planning permission in March 2022 and the project’s Outline Business Case approved in principle by NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care on 29 September 2023. With this approval, which is subject to a review of the project’s capital funding in April 2024, work can now begin on the full business case.
Dr Rob Heuschkel, Cambridge Children’s Hospital Clinical Lead for Physical Health said: “
This is fantastic news for children across the East of England – the only region without a specialist children’s hospital.
“We know there is widespread support across the East of England for this Hospital – from children and their families to our regional colleagues and our regional MPs. Now is the time for us to all work together to turn our plans into reality. I can’t wait to get started on the next stage of this Project. “
The government committed £100m to Cambridge Children’s Hospital in 2018, under the Sustainability and Transformation Partnership scheme, and the project is on track to meet its target of an additional £100m of philanthropy and fundraising.
Dr Cathy Walsh, Cambridge Children’s Hospital Clinical Lead for Mental Health, said:
There’s a long way still to go but this is an exciting moment in our journey to building a truly integrated children’s hospital.
“Our young people urgently need a new type of care, delivered by staff who are trained in both mental and physical health care. Cambridge Children’s Hospital will completely transform the future of healthcare for children and their families from across this region.”
The hospital will also house a University of Cambridge world-class research facility focussed on detecting and preventing childhood illness.
Professor David Rowitch, Cambridge Children’s Hospital Research Lead, said:
Cambridge Children’s Hospital will use cutting-edge innovations in genomic science to detect origins of physical and mental health conditions and develop a new model of preventive medicine in paediatrics.
"We will foster game-changing breakthroughs in life sciences research that will have an impact across the globe.
“Together we can detect childhood disease early or prevent it altogether, personalise health care and deliver it closer to home.”
Members of Cambridge Children’s Hospital Network, which is made up of children, young people and parents from across the region, have been a crucial part of designing the future hospital, and helping to shape how the facility might look and feel like.
Sarah Cobb, 19 from near Cambridge, has multiple disabilities and is visually impaired. She has been involved in the Project for a number of years. She said:
As someone with lifelong health conditions, who’s spent a lot of time in hospital as a child, a teenager and now a young adult, I’m delighted that Cambridge Children’s Hospital has reached this brilliant milestone.
“I feel really honoured to be part of such an inspirational project. This hospital means so much to me and will make such a difference to the mental and physical health of children and young people in future.”
Work continues on finalising the costs and remaining funding streams for this brand new hospital. We will now start developing the final stage of the business case for Cambridge Children’s Hospital’s– the Full Business Case.