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Major new cancer hospital to open in Liverpool as NHS responds to coronavirus

A major new specialist cancer hospital is set to open in Liverpool on 27th June to play a vital role in the second phase of the NHS response to coronavirus (COVID-19) by providing dedicated capacity for cancer care.

The new Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – Liverpool (CCC-L) will ensure the NHS in Cheshire and Merseyside is well placed to resume normal clinical activity by providing protected facilities for people with cancer, many of whom are particularly at risk if they catch coronavirus. It will also release capacity in other hospitals in the region.

The spectacular 11-storey cancer hospital in the heart of Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter is part of a £162m investment in transforming cancer care for the 2.4 million people of Cheshire and Merseyside, a region where people are more likely to develop cancer than almost anywhere else in the country. Preparatory work began on site in late 2016 and formal construction got underway in 2017.

The new cancer hospital has 110 fully-single en-suite patient bedrooms which will reduce the risk of catching coronavirus. This is important because people with cancer can be at greater risk of becoming extremely unwell from the virus. There are also special isolation facilities for patients whose immune systems mean they are particularly vulnerable to infection.

Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – Liverpool will deliver a wide range of highly-specialist cancer care including pioneering chemotherapy, immunotherapy, gene therapy and radiotherapy. The new hospital 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.

Being on site with Royal Liverpool University Hospital and the University of Liverpool medical school will have huge benefits for people with cancer, now and in the future. It will enhance care for the most complex patients – for example, those who have heart, lung and kidney conditions as well as cancer – by providing rapid access to medical and surgical specialties. Patients will also have access to leading-edge clinical trials of new cancer treatments.

The new hospital will become the main hub in The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust’s extensive network of treatment centres, including its Wirral and Aintree sites, hospitals across Cheshire and Merseyside and community settings including patients’ homes and workplaces.

Dr Liz Bishop, Chief Executive of The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – Liverpool is the culmination of an eight-year vision for transforming cancer care in a region with one of the highest rates of cancer in the country. It brings state-of-the-art facilities and pioneering cancer treatments to Cheshire and Merseyside at a time when they are more vitally needed than ever.

“We are tremendously excited about opening Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – Liverpool. It has been a huge labour of love and I would like to pay tribute to our staff, the Laing O’Rourke site team, our suppliers, subcontractors and all the partners who have helped to bring it to fruition.”

Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram said: “The opening of this crucial facility will be of huge benefit to the people of the city region. This is especially good news in these current testing times when NHS resources have been so stretched dealing with coronavirus. It adds to our city region’s strengths in health and life sciences and is yet another world-leading asset for the growing Knowledge Quarter.”

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “The opening of the new Clatterbridge Cancer Centre is fantastic news for Liverpool and the region, and for everyone who will receive world class treatment there. The building, the research and the care that will take place there is a tremendous boost to the city’s position as a world leader in medicine – and further underlines the growing international reputation of our multi-billion pound Knowledge Quarter, with the nearby Paddington Village also quickly taking shape.”

Paul McNerney, Director of UK Building at Laing O’Rourke, said: “The opening of Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – Liverpool will enable our remarkable NHS to provide cancer patients from Liverpool and across the North West with the best possible care at this time of national crisis. Knowing this made us determined to accelerate completion of the hospital, and I am incredibly proud of the workforce, sub-contractors and partners who are working flat out and have made major changes to how they work to maintain social distancing whilst completing the Centre.

“I know that the whole project team shares in my gratitude to all those working in the NHS and we’re proud to be able to support them by delivering this world class facility.”

The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust will continue to provide specialist cancer care at its existing sites in Wirral, Aintree, acute hospitals across the region and in the community when the new hospital opens. Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – Liverpool is part of a £162m investment that also includes significant upgrades and refurbishment at Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – Wirral.

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 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:
  1. It is more centrally located for people across Cheshire & Merseyside, significantly reducing journey times for those who live north of the Mersey.
    o 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.
  2. Bringing cancer experts from the NHS and the university together on the same site will significantly enhance opportunities for leading-edge cancer research.
  3. Every inpatient will have their own individual room, reducing the risk of infection.
  4.  The new hospital unites treatment for blood cancers and solid tumours for the first time.