NHS receives the keys to major new cancer centre

NHS receives the keys to major new cancer centre

The keys to Cheshire & Merseyside’s major new specialist cancer hospital in Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter have officially been handed over to the NHS, following the completion of construction.

Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – Liverpool, which opens to patients on Saturday 27th June, is part of a £162m investment in expanding and enhancing care for the 2.4 million people living in a region that has one of the highest rates of cancer nationally.

Laing O’Rourke, the lead contractor for the project, has now handed the building over to The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust which will run the hospital, as well as its existing sites in Wirral and Aintree and its extensive network of clinics across Cheshire and Merseyside.  

The 11-storey, 110-bed hospital will deliver a wide range of highly-specialist cancer care including pioneering chemotherapy, immunotherapy, gene therapy and radiotherapy. It has state-of-the-art facilities for bone marrow transplant, diagnostics and imaging, outpatients, daycase treatments, a Teenage & Young Adult Unit, clinical therapies, and a wide range of cancer information and support.

The Chemotherapy suite and inpatient wards boast spectacular views across the city and across to the Wirral peninsula, with terraces where patients can enjoy some fresh air. There is also a Winter Garden off the Radiotherapy department.

The hospital has also been designed to ensure patients have plenty of privacy and space, and can be personalised to individual needs. For example, every inpatient will have their own single en-suite room, further reducing any risk of infection.

Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – Liverpool was designed by leading architects BDP with AECOM providing all design engineering. Laing O’Rourke was the main contractor. Construction on the project started in early 2017, after initial site work in late 2016.

Dr Liz Bishop, Chief Executive of The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Getting the keys is a huge milestone because it marks the end of construction on Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – Liverpool. Our staff are now making the final preparations for opening on 27th June and we are all very excited about the benefits it will bring for cancer care in Cheshire and Merseyside. It is a significant expansion of cancer services, in addition to services at our Wirral and Aintree sites and our network of clinics across the region.”

Paul McNerney, Director of UK Building at Laing O’Rourke, said: “Our team of healthcare specialists have handed over a world-class hospital to The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust and we wish the staff the very best as they move in and prepare to provide vital services. Our engineering expertise and innovation in healthcare delivery has previously seen us construct Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – Aintree, as well as Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and with a team currently delivering the new Royal, we are proud of our track record in Liverpool.

“Our track record relies on being a partner trusted to deliver and a large part of that comes from driving innovation, using modern methods of construction. For Clatterbridge we built the hospital virtually, in a digital model before any on-site work began. This meant that we could design large elements of the building to precise specifications, manufacture them off-site and then assemble them on site minimising disruption to neighbours and to the adjacent Royal. It also meant we could employ apprentices and equip them with skills that will be needed for a digital and automated construction sector of the future.”

The project’s lead architect is Ged Couser, Architect Principal, BDP, who says: “This highly glazed building will become a beacon for cancer care in Liverpool and the wider region. Its modern sophisticated external skin is a clear expression of the cutting-edge research and care taking place within. Even in its tight urban context the internal spaces will have access to high quality external landscape, recognising the therapeutic value this brings to patients.”

AECOM UK & Ireland Healthcare and Science Sector Leader Richard Mann, who was the project director, said: “The AECOM building engineering team is proud to have worked with the Trust from the initial design stage through to handover. The result of our work is a light and airy, energy efficient and sustainable building, designed to put the wellbeing of patients and NHS staff first.”

Background & further information

  • The idea of developing a specialist cancer hospital in the heart of Liverpool was first proposed in the Baker Cannon report of 2008, which recommended sweeping changes to cancer care in Cheshire & Merseyside.
  • NHS commissioners agreed to it in principle in 2012. Formal public consultation took place in 2014, preparatory work began on site in 2016 following approval of a full business case, and formal construction of the 11-storey hospital began in 2017.
  • It has been designed by leading architects BDP with AECOM providing all design engineering services. Laing O’Rourke is the main contractor for construction.
  • Being located in Liverpool will have five main benefits over the current main site:
    • It is more centrally located for people across Cheshire, Merseyside and neighbouring areas such as Lancashire, significantly reducing journey times for those who live north of the Mersey.
    • The most complex and seriously unwell patients will benefit from rapid on-site access to key medical and surgical specialties in the Royal Liverpool University Hospital.
    • Bringing cancer experts from the NHS and the university together on the same site will significantly enhance opportunities for leading-edge cancer research.
    • Every inpatient will have their own individual room, reducing the risk of infection.
    • The new hospital unites treatment for blood cancers and solid tumours for the first time.