A major new hospital has opened in the heart of Liverpool, transforming cancer care in the North West.
The 11-storey Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – Liverpool (CCC-L) will deliver highly-specialist care, including pioneering immunotherapy and the most-advanced forms of radiotherapy to the 2.4 million people in Cheshire, Merseyside and the surrounding areas.
The landmark new hospital is part of a £162m investment in expanding and transforming cancer services across the region, where people are more likely to develop the disease than almost anywhere else in the country.
This expansion of services will ensure the NHS is well placed to meet the rising incidence of cancer as people live longer.
In the immediate term, it will also support the NHS to resume normal clinical activity post-COVID-19 by providing protected facilities for people with cancer – many of whom are particularly at risk if they catch the virus – as well as releasing capacity in other hospitals in the region.
The new hospital brings pioneering cancer treatment closer to communities that are among the most disadvantaged and most at risk of developing the disease during their lifetime.
It means significantly-shorter journey times for the majority of patients, including those from Knowsley, which has the second-highest incidence of cancer in England.
At a regional level, cancer incidence in Cheshire and Merseyside is the third highest in England, while deaths from cancer are 76% above the European average.
The opening of Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – Liverpool is the culmination of plans that have been eight years in the making.
Until now, Cheshire and Merseyside’s main cancer centre has been located at its southern-most point on a site, with no acute medical and surgical specialties, and that is also some distance away from key research partners.
The new hospital is centrally located for people across Cheshire & Merseyside, significantly reducing journey times for the 65% of patients who live north of the Mersey.
Sitting in the heart of Liverpool’s thriving Knowledge Quarter – on a site adjacent to Royal Liverpool University Hospital and the University of Liverpool – it will also will ensure the most-complex and unwell patients benefit from rapid onsite access to key medical and surgical specialties. This is important because many people with cancer are also living with other serious health conditions such as heart, lung or kidney disease.
Bringing cancer experts from the NHS and the University of Liverpool together on the same site will also significantly enhance opportunities for leading-edge cancer research, including early-phase clinical trials of new treatments.
The new hospital has state-of-the-art facilities for diagnostics and imaging, outpatient services, daycase treatments, bone marrow transplant, a teenage and young adult unit, clinical therapies, and a wide range of cancer information and support.
Its 110 fully-single en-suite bedrooms will provide inpatients with total privacy as well as helping to reduce the risk of infection.
This is especially relevant during the pandemic because people with cancer can be at greater risk of becoming extremely unwell from COVID-19.
The hospital also has special isolation facilities for patients whose immune systems mean they are particularly vulnerable to infection.
And an inpatient blood cancer unit will open later this year.
The building has been specially designed to enhance wellbeing, healing and recovery through a close connection to nature and a sense of light and space, despite its city-centre location.
There is a Winter Garden on the lowest floor, adjacent to the radiotherapy department.
And the inpatient wards and chemotherapy suite boast spectacular views across the city to the Wirral peninsula, with outdoor terraces where patients can enjoy fresh air.
Artwork will further bring the outside in, using tree and plant motifs on every floor.
The hospital has 110 single rooms and has been designed to enhance wellbeing and recoveryImage by Paul Karalius
The new facility has achieved a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating for sustainability.
It was designed by BDP Architects, which also designed Alder Hey Children’s Hospital; and was constructed by Laing O’Rourke, with engineering services provided by AECOM.
Dr Liz Bishop, chief executive of The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – Liverpool is the culmination of an eight-year project for transforming cancer care in a region with one of the highest rates of cancer in the country.
“It brings state-of-the-art facilities, novel treatments and research together to improve outcomes and save lives in Cheshire and Merseyside at a time when one in two of us will get cancer in our lifetime.”
Paul McNerney, director of UK building at Laing O’Rourke, added: “The opening of Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – Liverpool will enable our remarkable NHS to provide cancer patients from Liverpool and across the North West with the best-possible care for many years to come.
“It is a world-class facility and I am incredibly proud of the workforce, sub contractors and partners who delivered the final stages of it in challenging circumstances.”
And Ged Couser, architect principal at BDP, told BBH: “This highly-glazed building will become a beacon for cancer care in Liverpool and the wider region.
“Its modern sophisticated external skin is a clear expression of the cutting-edge research and care taking place within.
“Even in its tight urban context the internal spaces will have access to high-quality external landscape, recognising the therapeutic value this brings to patients.”