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Cambridge children’s hospital on the cards

The Cambridge Biomedical Campus, located at the southern end of Hills Road on the southern edge of Cambridge,
The Cambridge Biomedical Campus, located at the southern end of Hills Road on the southern edge of Cambridge,

A dedicated children’s hospital could be built on Cambridge Biomedical Campus.

The Cambridge Independent can reveal that it is among the options being discussed by health bosses who have formed a working group to integrate physical and mental health services for young people in ?the region.

Land near the Rosie Hospital - which features neonatal intensive care and special care units for babies - could be considered as a site for the hospital.

Currently, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) is responsible for dealing with mental health while Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH) looks after physical health.

Cambridge City Council leader Lewis Herbert welcomed the move, saying:"The opportunity to foster high-skill clinical care at Addenbrooke's is welcome."

It is not the first time that the idea of a dedicated children's hospital has been mooted. It was listed as proposed development in CUH's Vision to Reality, which was published in 2010, as well as being mentioned in Cambridge University's School of Clinical Medicine's five-year plan (2016-2020). The department states its intention to be"fully involvedshould plans for"new state-of-the-art clinical facilities for childrennear the Addenbrooke's site move forward.

"Lots of different initiatives are being discussed, including the provision of a new children's hospital, but it is important to understand that this particular idea is very much in its infancy and no firm plans have yet been drawn up,a spokesman for CUH told the Cambridge Independent.

Cllr Lucy Nethsingha, leader of Cambridgeshire County Council's Liberal Democrat group, welcomed the move to investigate integrating services for young people on one site.

She said:"I think that could be really positive. We wouldn't want to be losing any of the expertise that is there already, but anything that makes the working together of different partners in the NHS is helpful.

She added:"It's really important that they all work closely together, particularly Addenbrooke's and CPFT because CPFT have the expertise in children and adolescent mental health but Addenbrooke's end up picking up a lot of the pieces if the young people have been involved in self-harm or drug overdoses.

It would be the first of its kind in the East of England.

Mum-of-two Kirsty Jolley, 32, whose 18-month-old daughter is being treated for cancer at Addenbrooke's and Great Ormond Street Hospital, said:"There will be more beds for sick children and there will be more research. It's a good idea in my book."

Children's services at Addenbrooke's are regional for many specialties, but it is also the local paediatric centre for Cambridge and surrounding areas.

Each year, CUH admits approximately 3,500 young patients and has experience in children's medicine and surgery.

Cllr Herbert added that improved transport infrastructure to support the hospital would be vital.

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