Page last updated at 13:19 GMT, Wednesday, 30 September 2009 14:19 UK

Children's 288m health park plan

Artist impression of the children's health park

Plans for children's health park

A plan to create the UK's first £288m children's health park at Liverpool's Alder Hey hospital is being submitted.

The proposals for the project are being put forward to Monitor, the independent regulator of NHS foundation trusts.

If approval is given, work could start in 2012 and be completed by 2014 - in time for the Merseyside hospital's 100th anniversary.

Liverpool City Council has granted planning permission for the hospital to be built in Springfield Park.

Florence Nightingale

Under the plans, most of the existing Edwardian hospital buildings will be demolished and rebuilt on the parkland.

Monitor is expected to rule on the business plan within weeks. If it supports the proposals, government backing will be sought.

Richard Glenn, Alder Hey's project director, said: "Alder Hey was built almost a century ago as a state-of-the-art children's hospital, based on the principles of Florence Nightingale. Since then it has been a pioneering hospital with a world-renowned reputation.

Alder Hey hospital facts
The hospital serves an area stretching from Cumbria to Shropshire, as well as North Wales and the Isle of Man
It handles 244,000 patient visits a year
It opened in 1914, housed in buildings created as a home for paupers
In the 1940s it became the first UK hospital to have a neo-natal unit
It pioneered the use of penicillin in the treatment of children as well as pioneering heart treatment

"Most of our buildings are no longer fit for purpose and we desperately need a new hospital to reflect expectations and needs in the 21st Century.

"We have an incredibly dedicated and passionate staff at Alder Hey and it is because of them we cope with the current inadequate facilities."

Mr Glenn said the patient growth rate over the last few years indicated the number of children attending the hospital could increase to about 375,000 by 2015.

The first stage of work will include new inpatient and acute services accommodation, new facilities for radiology, pathology, operating theatres, PICU (Paediatric Intensive Care Unit), day surgery and day procedures.

There will be a new 1,000-space multi-storey car park and a park to provide exercise, space for families, staff and the local community.

Future plans include developing education and research facilities with the University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University and Edge Hill University.

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