The £118m specialist cancer hospital, linked to the Royal Liverpool University Hospital and intended to serve as a hub for NHS facilities across Cheshire and Wirral, is to open on 27 June in the Knowledge Quarter.
The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre comprises an 11-storey block on the same site as the Royal, itself being rebuilt under a separate project, and including corridor links between the buildings on two floors.
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The Clatterbridge, designed by BDP Architects, is in the heart of Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter regeneration district and is part of the city region’s £162m investment into transforming cancer care for 2.4 million people across Cheshire and Merseyside.
In particular, the hospital is expected to play a key role in maintaining cancer care provision in the city region, even amid the Covid-19 outbreak, as it has 110 single en-suite bedrooms that would reduce the risk of cancer patients catching the virus.
Preparatory work began on site in late 2016 and formal construction got underway in 2017 led by main contractor Laing O’Rourke, which is also building the Royal.
At the same time, an associated redesign and refurbishment of the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre’s existing Wirral site has been taking place as part of the £162m investment.
The Clatterbridge NHS Foundation Trust will continue to provide specialist cancer care at the sites in Wirral, Aintree, and at acute hospitals across the region once the new hospital opens.
However, the trust deemed it important for the Clatterbridge to have a new hub in the city centre, so that it was more centrally located for people across Cheshire and Merseyside, and so that the most seriously unwell patients would benefit from rapid on-site access to medical and surgical specialities in the Royal Liverpool.
The central location is also expected to attract experts from across the NHS and the university to increase opportunities for pioneering cancer research.
The new centre will provide a range of chemotherapy, immunotherapy, gene therapy and radiotherapy treatments and services, and unites treatments for blood cancers and solid tumours for the first time, according to the trust.
The hospital also has facilities for bone marrow transplant, diagnostics and imaging, outpatients, day-case treatments, clinical therapies and a dedicated unit for teenagers and young adults.
Dr Liz Bishop, chief executive of the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust, said: “[The hospital] is the culmination of an eight-year vision for transforming cancer care in a region with one of the highest rates of cancer in the country.
Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram, added: “The opening of this crucial facility will be of huge benefit to the people of the city region.
“It adds to our city region’s strengths in health and life sciences and is yet another world-leading asset for the growing Knowledge Quarter.”
Paul McNerney, director of UK Building at Laing O’Rourke, said he was “incredibly proud of the [firm’s] workforce, sub-contractors and partners, who are working flat out and have made major changes to how they work to maintain social distancing while completing the centre.”