In Pictures: Royal Approval For New Alder Hey Hospital
The Prince of Wales visited the new Alder Hey Children’s Hospital on Thursday to meet young patients, their families, hospital staff and others involved in the project’s development.
The Prince of Wales is President of the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community which aims to transform people’s lives by creating beautiful, harmonious and sustainable communities. The final design of Alder Hey’s new hospital is in-line with The Prince’s Foundation’s ethos of creating sustainable buildings that are in keeping with their surroundings; incorporating nature and green space to create a pleasant, healing environment for young patients.
The new hospital, Alder Hey in the Park, is the only hospital in a park in Europe and has been designed with the help of children and young people. It will have 270 beds, including 48 critical care beds for patients in ICU, HDU and Burns, together with 16 operating theatres. The majority of children and their families will have their own room with en-suite facilities and each ward will have its own kitchen providing freshly cooked food to order.
The unique design of the building will provide a pleasant healing environment for children and young people. Almost all bedrooms have park views and patients will have easy access to play areas on and outside their ward. The new hospital will sit in the heart of Springfield Park, creating views of green space or parkland from every patient’s window.
During the visit, The Prince of Wales was given a tour of the new building, meeting some of the local apprentices who have worked on its construction, before speaking to some of the nurses and hospital staff on one of the new wards. He then stepped out onto the ward’s unique outdoor play decks to chat to some of the patients and families who have provided their opinions every step of the way in the design process.
Nearly one thousand children gave their feedback on the new hospital in a consultation in 2009 and their comments, along with their individual drawings, were central to the design brief. One of these pictures was a drawing by former patient Eleanor Brogan. Eleanor, who was then 15 years old, drew a flower design which became the inspiration for the architects who designed the new hospital.
Eleanor said: “It was really good to meet the Prince. He was very nice and relaxed considering he’s royalty. It was really nice he came to see the hospital and he seemed genuinely impressed by it, which was really nice. It’s surreal for me to be here and it’s a real privilege to see the new building coming together.”
A Children and Young Person’s Design Group has also provided ongoing guidance and feedback to the architects working on the project. Louise Toolan, age 14 is a member of this group and has had the chance to give her views on the new hospital’s interior design, colour schemes and way finding systems.
Louise said: “It’s amazing he came here to visit the new hospital, which is even better than I expected it to be. I came here a few weeks back and it was quite different even then. I’m really looking forward to seeing it when it’s done.”
Director of Nursing Hilda Gwilliams said: “He was very complimentary about what we have achieved here. He talked about the reduced infection risks in having a building that’s so bright and airy and talked about the privacy and dignity elements of having individual rather than shared rooms. He also asked about the art and how the children have had an input in the design.”
Yew Tree ward councillor Tony Conception said: “The gains for the community will be fantastic. The investment for the local area is amazing. We will get a brand new hospital and a new park, which will be better than the previous one.”
Louise Shepherd, Chief Executive of Alder Hey Children’s Hospital said: “The Prince’s Foundation was instrumental in leading our public consultation for the location of our new hospital and we share their vision of creating buildings that benefit the whole community. We are delighted that HRH Prince of Wales was able to visit our new hospital and find out the role children and young people have played in its development. Here at Alder Hey, everything we do is inspired by children and we have listened to their views every step of the way to ensure we create a hospital that meets with their needs.
“This is an incredibly exciting time for everyone at Alder Hey as we prepare to leave our 100 year buildings and move into a brand new home in September 2015. Moving to a new purpose-built hospital has provided us with an unrivalled opportunity to design services around our patients, while also making huge improvements to the delivery of healthcare for children and young people. We feel very privileged to have been able to share with HRH Prince of Wales our plans for the new Alder Hey in the Park, along with the important role Alder Hey is playing in the future of children’s healthcare.”