Plans to transform cancer care across Cheshire and Merseyside by developing a new specialist hospital in the heart of Liverpool have been given approval.
The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust – which provides the region’s specialist cancer services – has been granted full planning permission for the 11-floor hospital on West Derby Street as part of its £157m investment in expanding and improving cancer care.
The announcement was made at a meeting of Liverpool City Council’s planning committee.
Meanwhile, the full business case for the development has also been given the green light by the new NHS regulator, NHS Improvement, subject to a few final conditions.
That means it’s now full steam ahead with plans for the new hospital, which will be built next to the Royal Liverpool University Hospital and University of Liverpool.
The new Clatterbridge Cancer Centre will provide highly-specialist chemotherapy and other drug therapies, radiotherapy, inpatient care, outpatients, cancer support and rehabilitation, bone marrow transplant, a teenage and young adult unit, and urgent cancer care.
It will care for people from across Merseyside and Cheshire with solid tumours and blood cancers and will also carry out groundbreaking research and clinical trials of new cancer treatments.
The new hospital will be in addition to the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre’s existing hospitals in Wirral and Aintree and its chemotherapy and outpatient services in other hospitals across the region including Southport, Chester, Halton, St Helen’s and Liverpool.
Preparatory construction work is expected to start on site later this year, with the new hospital opening to patients by the end of 2019.
Chief executive of The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre Andrew Cannell said: “This is a landmark moment for healthcare in Merseyside and Cheshire and will truly transform cancer care for generations to come.
“Our region has one of the highest cancer rates in the country so people here deserve the very best in care. While we currently provide excellent services, the new hospital will result in even more outstanding care and leading research with vast clinical benefits for patients.
“At The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, we have continually innovated to bring the best cancer care to our patients whether it’s treatment at home by our specialist nurses, our chemotherapy clinics in nine hospitals across the region, or our own sites at Wirral, Aintree and now Liverpool.
“This approval for the new hospital is fantastic news and means that people across Merseyside and Cheshire will receive superb, highly-specialist care tailored to their needs from our expert staff as close to home as possible.
“There is recognition across the local health system of the importance of investing in cancer care and of the value it delivers in saving lives – this is particularly important for Merseyside and Cheshire with one of the highest cancer rates in the country. This new hospital is part of a wider programme of investment in improving cancer care across Merseyside and Cheshire.”
The hospital has been designed by the same award-winning architectural team at BDP that created the new Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.
The cost of the new hospital will be funded by the NHS and is not a private finance initiative. The funding is coming from a combination of the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre’s own reserves, NHS commissioners, some borrowing from government sources and a public fundraising appeal.