Children’s Hospital in line for £30m extension

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SHEFFIELD Children’s Hospital is to get a new wing costing up to £30m.

Despite the harsh financial background, managers this week announced a scheme for a three-storey development including a new outpatient department and three new wards with a total of 72 beds.

The estimated cost is between £20m and £30m, with money due to come from the NHS and the Children’s Hospital Charity.

Six architects are competing to design the wing and to come up with solutions to the long-standing problem of car parking for visitors.

Final designs will be unveiled next month to the public. Then a panel will select the winner in January with a view to final decisions on the cost and scale of the project being made later in the year.

Simon Morritt, chief executive at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We’re delighted to be at a stage where we can ask some of the country’s top architects to produce their ideas for a new wing.

“Parts of the hospital date back to 1903 and we want to make sure it is fit for purpose for everything we need to achieve over the coming decades.

“We’re in a tough financial climate at the moment and so plan to make this a jointly-funded scheme between the NHS and The Children’s Hospital Charity.

“We are very excited to see how the architects will prepare a building which meets the needs of our patients and clinicians in an environmentally sensitive way.

“Holding this competition will allow us to get the best possible design for the new wing which is extremely important when we think about how adaptable it will need to be for the years to come.”

The extension will create a new entrance, which will segregate patients from other hospital users. Many of the new beds will have en-suite bedrooms.

Mr Morritt added: “We won’t just be replicating the systems we have at our current site, we are looking at how we can improve patient experience while making our processes more efficient. We’ve been working with staff internally to collect their views and keep them well informed throughout the process.”

Hospital staff, governors and carers of patients will be on the panel involved in choosing the best design. Prof Flora Samuels, head of the architectural department at the University of Sheffield, will be providing expert advice during the selection process.

Mr Morritt said the project had been in the planning stage for a long time. “It’s a fairly modest scheme and it’s anticipated that the majority of the capital will come from within the NHS.

“As we’ve said before, our long-term plan is to continue to grow our specialist services and improve the quality of accommodation we provide for children and their families and the new facility will help us to do that.

“The Children’s Hospital Charity will also be helping us to raise money for the new wing and will play an important role in funding the project, so we hope the public will get behind them.”

Last year the trust opened a £12m child and adolescent mental health service at Becton, Beighton.