New milestone for specialist children’s hospital in the East of England

Artist's impression of the entrance to the future Cambridge Children’s Hospital


Cambridge Children’s Hospital, which will be the first specialist children’s hospital for the East of England, has been given the green light to proceed to the final stage of its business case development. This means that pre-construction works can begin on the site of the new hospital, opposite the Rosie Maternity Hospital on Robinson Way, early next year.

Together we can detect childhood disease early or prevent it altogether, personalise health care and deliver it closer to homeDavid Rowitch

The Project had its 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 commence on the Full Business Case for the Project.

The hospital, which was awarded planning permission in March 2022, is being built on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, but will care for children and young people across the whole of Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.

It will be the first hospital designed to truly provide mental and physical health care together, delivered by staff who are trained in both. While the hospital will be built in Cambridge it will act as a central hub, working with services all over the East of England to provide care and support for children who may never visit the hospital itself. 

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.  

Health Minister Lord Markham said: “We are investing in over 70 major new upgrades of NHS facilities across the country so patients can access high quality care in state-of-the-art hospitals, both now and in the years to come. I’m pleased Cambridge Children’s Hospital is now starting on the final stage of its business case with construction planned to begin next year.

“Backed by £100 million of government funding, this hospital will be the first specialist children’s hospital for the East of England and will bring mental and physical healthcare services together to benefit thousands of young people.”

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, Head of the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Cambridge and 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.

About Cambridge Children’s Hospital 

Cambridge Children’s Hospital will be the first hospital designed to truly provide mental and physical health care together, delivered by staff who are trained in both.

It is the first specialist children’s hospital for the East of England, the only region in the UK without one. 

The hospital will fully integrate physical and mental healthcare services under one roof to provide a whole new way of caring for children and young people aged 0-19, including those with cancer. 

Cambridge Children’s Hospital will be a national exemplar. Housing University of Cambridge research institutes focused on the prevention and early diagnosis of disease, the hospital will deliver game-changing advances in life sciences research. 

The hospital will be built on Europe’s leading life sciences campus, the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, and is being co-designed with the help of young people, families and healthcare professionals. 

Established by Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Cambridge, the hospital is a partnership which brings together clinical expertise and world-leading knowledge.

The Campaign for Cambridge Children’s Hospital, a partnership between Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust (ACT), Head to Toe Charity and the University of Cambridge (CUDAR), is committed to raising £100 million from philanthropy and fundraising.

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