Vinci Construction UK is to design and build a £2m bridge between Aintree University Hospital and the specialist neurosurgery unit the Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust in Liverpool.
The link will enable the rapid transfer of seriously ill patients with head injuries who require specialist care. Currently, patients are transferred by ambulance between the two adjacent buildings. The Walton Centre is the UK's only dedicated centre for neurology and neurosurgery, and patients requiring its treatment come from across Cheshire, Merseyside and North Wales.
Catherine Beardshaw, chief executive of Aintree University Hospital, said: "This link will enable our staff to transfer patients quickly and seamlessly. This will benefit very ill patients with head injuries who are admitted to Aintree's A&E Department, or who have emergency surgery at Aintree, and who then need to be transferred quickly to the Walton Centre because of the severe nature of their head injuries. It's essential that these patients can access the specialists they need as quickly as possible, and I am confident that this partnership development will improve the quality of care for them."
Dr Liz Mear, chief executive of the Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust, said: "Patients with traumatic brain injuries need specialist treatment as quickly as possible, to give them the best chance of recovery. Building this link bridge between our two hospitals will speed up that transfer and provide a seamless service for people in need of specialist care of brain and spine injuries."
The 63 metre, 65 tonne link bridge, which will be designed and built by VINCI Construction UK, will be pre-assembled off site in four sections then crane lifted into position onto circular concrete columns.
Chris Hamer, Managing Director, VINCI Construction UK Building Division, North, said: "We hope the high level walkway linking the two trusts will enable each hospital to reach and exceed their objectives and targets. This project is unique as it is not every day that two trusts are linked like this, which will help improve the quality of care for their patients."
The work will be jointly funded by the two trusts is expected to finish in August 2012.