New children’s hospital building gets ‘green light’

Evelina London Children’s Hospital, part of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, has been given the ‘green light’ on plans to expand with a brand new building.

Lambeth Council has now approved the plans ‘unanimously’, according to the trust. This means that work can now go ahead to build the new structure and join it to the existing hospital, with the aim of making it ‘bigger and better’.

It’s hoped that the development will mean Evelina London can ‘continue to meet the needs of the sickest children with the most complex conditions from across the country’ and lead to an expansion of its specialist heart and lung services.

Subject to consultation, some of these services are set to switch from the Royal Brompton Hospital to Evelina in around six years’ time.

The expanded hospital is expected to open in 2027 – over two decades since the original site first opened in 2005.

As Leading Healthcare previously reported, the new building is designed by Hawkins\Brown Architects and the developer Linkcity, and it is said to include: around 100 beds, plus up to 20 additional critical care beds; a new suite of operating theatres and procedure rooms; specialist imaging facilities; and more spaces for patients and families to relax, such as a roof terrace.

Construction of a new family-friendly day surgery centre is also already underway and due to open in 2022.

Marian Ridley, Director of Evelina London, said: “This is a huge step for us – it will allow us to continue with our exciting plans to grow the hospital into a world-leading centre of life-changing care for even more children, young people and their families.

“Without increasing our capacity, a significant proportion of children and young people would not be able to access specialist care, leading to delays to treatment, increased use of emergency care, and the potential for worse quality of life and long term outcomes.

“We are therefore very grateful to the council for their support, alongside our local community, patients and families who we consulted throughout the planning process.”

Professor Ian Abbs, Chief Executive of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, added: “This is just the beginning of an exciting journey for us, and we will continue to put patients and families at the heart of what we do.”

In other facilities news, Guy’s and St Thomas’ has also announced that two new operating theatres at Queen Mary’s Hospital in Sidcup are helping ‘reduce waiting lists’ and ‘boost elective capacity’.

Refurbished by Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust and run by Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust, the theatres are being used by teams from Guy’s and St Thomas’, as well as King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust, to ‘carry out high volume, low complexity procedures’.

The collaboration, which includes anaesthetic support from Guy’s and St Thomas’, is reportedly the first time the different organisations have worked together to provide services in this way – and the initiative is providing the potential for around 75 procedures to be carried out per week.