The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, has announced up to £100 million of public capital for an innovative children’s hospital for the east of England. This will be a new facility that is purpose-built to meet the needs of the region’s youngest patients, integrating mental and physical health and combining the highest quality services with world class science and research.

It is not only an investment in the research and clinical expertise in Cambridge but, importantly, it is an investment in the future of our children and young people

Professor Stephen Toope

Built on land adjacent to Addenbrooke’s and the Rosie Hospitals, the children’s hospital will bring together some of the world’s top scientists to explore new ways of diagnosing and treating some of the most challenging diseases of childhood. Mapping the whole human genome and understanding the genetic basis of disease and recovery is central to the hospital’s vision. It aims to make an important contribution globally to the development of children’s healthcare while providing world class care for families in the east of England.

The project is a partnership involving Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH) NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Cambridge. The development is a major part of the strategy to invest in world class facilities led by the Sustainability and Transformation Partnership for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, Professor Stephen Toope, said: “The announcement from the Secretary of State is extremely positive. It is not only an investment in the research and clinical expertise in Cambridge but, importantly, it is an investment in the future of our children and young people. By helping us to improve how we treat those young people unfortunate enough to be affected by serious childhood diseases, the new hospital  has the potential to transform the provision of healthcare for families in the East of England.”

Patrick Maxwell, Regius Professor of Physic and Head of the School of Clinical Medicine, said: “This is a welcome and very significant investment from the government. The new children’s hospital will bring together clinical and research expertise from across Cambridge, enabling us to make a major difference to the health of young people across the East of England and, through our research, throughout the UK and beyond.”

Professor David Rowitch from the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Cambridge added: “It is time to bridge the divide between physical and mental health and move away from silo working. With strengths across the board from genomics to complex medical care, child and adolescent psychiatry, Cambridge is perfectly positioned to lead by example.”

The announcement has also been welcomed by the chief executives of the two NHS trusts involved. Roland Sinker, CUH chief executive, described the announcement as “a tribute to our outstanding staff who care for very poorly children day in day out in facilities that currently are not reflecting the world class service we provide”. Tracy Dowling, chief executive of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, which provides mental health services for young people and adults as well as physical health services for older people and those with long-term conditions, said the new hospital would provide “the most incredible opportunity” to bring together physical and mental health services under one roof.

Adapted from a news story from CUH.

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