Leighton Baines ‘Blown Away’ By New Alder Hey
Leighton Baines says the brand new Alder Hey Hospital will be the best healthcare facility in the country for children and young people.
The Everton defender was joined by Blues’ legend Graeme Sharp for a private tour of the new hospital before the big move this weekend and was overwhelmed by the world-class facilities.
The new building, known as Alder Hey in the Park because it is located on part of West Derby’s Springfield Park, is the result of a decade-long project to create a state-of-the-art medical facility.
The design was inspired by children and some of the remarkable features include a giant indoor tree-house, an outdoor play deck featuring fish tanks on each of the six wards, a relaxation garden and interactive screens in patient waiting areas.
Baines said: “The new hospital is mind blowing. The amount of thought that has gone into every small detail is fantastic. I think that this is an amazing facility that will clearly be the best facility for kids in the country.
“It’s been a tough task for the people who have been working on it to bring it all together and they’ve done an incredible job. It’s one thing coming up with a design and getting a building ready but you’ve got to transport a lot of patients across and get them bedded in to their new surroundings. You can’t appreciate it enough really, even when you come down and see it.”
The £237m hospital contains 270 beds and 16 operating theatres, and this weekend will see the five-day transfer period to the new hospital get underway.
Graeme Sharp has been a keen supporter of Alder Hey and its charity for many years and was delighted to join Baines in taking a look around the new building. Alder Hey Children’s Charity has raised £20 million to buy life-saving equipment for the new hospital, which will be used by 275,000 youngsters a year.
He said: “It’s absolutely incredible. I was really looking forward to coming along today to have a look at the new hospital and it’s blown me away. We’ve been coming to Alder Hey for the last 10-15 years and when you see this new facility, it’s just incredible. Every corner you turn there’s something that takes your breath away. It’s a fantastic facility for the people of Liverpool, everybody knows what a fantastic job Alder Hey does but this will make it even better.”
The pair were shown around Alder Hey in the Park by David Houghton, who has been Project Manager for the two-year construction project – and is a keen Evertonian!
David Houghton said: “Even though I knew the scale of it, in the last few months I’ve really seen the scale of it. When you see people’s reaction, that’s when you realise it’s big in an emotional sense. It’s a building that will change the way children view hospitals. That’s what our aim always was, to build a hospital that didn’t feel like one.”