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Alder Hey in the Park children’s hospital

The new Alder Hey in the Park children’s hospital is one of the most ambitious healthcare and well-being projects ever conceived within the UK.

The facility is located on land that was previously designated as a public park adjacent to the old hospital. It has a floor area of approximately 60,000m2 and contains 16 state-of-the-art operating theatres and 270 inpatient beds. There are play areas on every ward and patients have easy access to outdoor play areas and gardens.

To spark the design process, 900 children shared their own vision for the new hospital and thousands of families took part in one of the National Health Service’s biggest ever public consultations. Many suggestions, such as better access to fresh air and nature, were included in the plans and the team continued to work closely with young people to get their input throughout the design process. Since opening, a children’s board has taken an active role in the hospital to make sure that young people continue to have a voice.

Our role

Currie & Brown’s independent tester team provided the full range of independent tester services for the project.

The IT team contained a number of differing but complementary specialisms ranging from off-site concrete panel through building surveying to specialist mechanical and electrical system expertise. The project included a large number of specialist systems now found in state-of-the-art acute hospitals, eg off-site component manufacture/medical gases/renal water/pneumatic tube/aseptic suites/specialist ventilation/robotic delivery vehicles, etc.

A feature of our IT team was that we were very much embedded into the overall project delivery team and were fully involved in the delivery process. We were proactive in the provision of assistance/information accrued over our IT team’s combined experience of the delivery and operational issues arising from the construction and operation of large-scale acute healthcare facilities. This was the team’s third successful collaboration with Laing O’Rourke in the delivery of facilities of this type and reflected the combined experience of both the contractor and the IT team, which was harnessed to ensure the best outcome for our mutual clients.

The project faced a number of challenging obstacles ranging from building techniques to programming issues. However, the whole project team worked together to ensure that, where possible, difficulties arising from the various issues faced were dealt with and action taken to mitigate their effects without compromising the overall quality of the delivered scheme.

Although the building construction phase completion date was delayed, the above partnering attitude ensured that the hospital opened to the public in line with the original target completion date.

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