The Children’s Hospital for Wales, the first hospital ever built for children in Wales, began construction in Cardiff in February 2003.
The £21 million building is being constructed on a Greenfield site next to existing facilities at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff and is due to house three children-friendly wards, including a specialist cancer ward, family accommodation and a health information centre.
The first phase of the operation will cost approx. £9.55 million with £5.5 million coming from the “Noah’s Ark” charity appeal and a £3.25 million investment from the Welsh government. This will be the first ‘new-build’ clinical development on the Heath Park campus since the hospital was opened in 1971.
Phase one of the children’s hospital development includes the construction of the ground floor, reception, play area, health information centre and a 25-bed medical ward for children aged 0 to two years. On the first floor there will be a 25-bed medical ward for children aged two and upwards. The second floor will have a 15-bed unit for paediatric oncology and the third floor will contain oncology outpatients and parents’ accommodation.
Plans for phase two of the development are well advanced and will shortly be submitted to the Welsh Assembly for approval. They will provide for surgical facilities to complement the phase one medical block. The content is likely to include up to six new children’s operating theatres, an intensive care unit and children’s surgical wards.
The estimated costs are still being prepared but are likely to be between £15 million and £20 million.
The contractor for the first phase is Laing Construction who have an excellent track record in building Children’s Hospitals, having constructed the last three in England including the unit at Bristol Royal Infirmary.
The costs of the phase one project will be £9.55 million and it is due for completion on 17 December 2004.
Currently there are more than 36,000 children’s visits or admissions to the children’s units in Cardiff that the new hospital will replace. Almost 15,000 of these visits/admissions are for children living outside Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan.
Funding for the new building will come from Noah’s Ark that will donate at £5.5 million, the Welsh Assembly which will give £3.25 million, LATCH (Llandough Aims to Treat children with Cancer and leukaemia with Hope) £800,000 and WAG which is investing £1.75 million in children’s services at Llandough Hospital.
Cardiff County Council at its Planning Committee Meeting granted full planning approval for the scheme on 19 March 2003.
CHILD-FRIENDLY HOSPITAL DESIGN
As this is a Child’s hospital the structure will contain a number of unique features such as low level viewing panels in all doors, a water feature in the main entrance and Noah’s Ark ‘themed’ artwork on each floor: ground – sea; first – land and air; and second – space.
Other child-friendly features will include reduced height window sills and finger guard protection to all doors. A specialised air conditioning system will provide a sterile environment for vulnerable children on the oncology ward.
Parents will be especially catered for with the provision of pull-down beds so they can be near their children overnight. A dedicated ‘family room’ will allow parents and one other child to ‘live in’ with an ill child to reduce stress and aid recovery. A suite of six double rooms for parents is provided on the top floor.