Alder Hey hospital competition begins

Paul Unger

The UK's leading contractors are competing to build the new Alder Hey Children's Health Park in Liverpool.

Laing, Balfour Beatty, Bovis Lend Lease, Carillion and Taylor Woodrow are all understood to have expressed interest as soon as the bidding process for the private finance initiative went live this week.

The brief for the £175m building and 30-year management contract has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. It describes a world-class inpatient and acute treatment children's hospital on a new greenfield site adjacent to the current hospital. The site forms part of Springfield Park, owned by Liverpool City Council. The council has given outline planning permission for the children's health park, centred around a 450,000 sq ft hospital and 1,200-space car park.

Once the work is finished most of the existing buildings will be demolished and the site used to create new parkland.

Richard Glenn, project director, said: "The Trust's proposals to create what will be an iconic facility have been well received by the local community, the wider population of Merseyside and the North West and among politicians of the major parties. Potential bidders need to realise we are looking to build a facility that will be a flagship of the NHS and a hospital designed with children in mind. In a nutshell it will be a world-class Children's Hospital."

Alder Hey, in the West Derby area of Liverpool, is one of the largest specialist children's hospitals in Europe covering a total catchment population of 7.6m and delivering over 244,000 episodes of care a year. The hospital is designated a University of Child Health Institute, and one of only two trust's in the North West to be a formal provider of children's specialised services, with 30 specialities in 50 departments, according to the NHS.

The trust has organised a Bidder Open Day for the Children's Health Park Project to be held on Thursday 11 February 2010. The Trust expects three or four potential bidders will be invited to compete for the contract. It is envisaged construction works will commence in spring 2012.

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