Alder Hey in the Park

Alder Hey in the Park

Designed by Children for Children

“From the beginning we strived to create a world-class healing environment that would benefit children and young people from across the UK and throughout the world. This was a once in a life time opportunity to create something really special for our patients, families and staff; a dedicated healthcare facility providing the very best treatment and care to thousands of children and young people.” Louise Shepherd, Chief Executive

In 2015, we opened a state-of-the-art hospital inspired by the thousands of children and young people we treat from across the UK.

Our new hospital features 270 beds, including 48 critical care beds for patients in ICU, HDU and Burns, together with 16 digitally enhanced operating theatres. The majority of our children and their families have their own room and en-suite facilities and park views outside their bedroom window; while each ward has its own kitchen providing patients with freshly cooked food to order.    

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Europe’s only hospital in a park, the unique design of Alder Hey in the Park provides the best possible environment and experience for patients and their families, along with ensuring the most effective and efficient care. Six large, colourful and spacious wards with outdoor play areas have been specifically designed to benefit patient’s needs, there are easy check in facilities for outpatients, patients have improved access to specialist rehabilitation, while unique distraction, play and entertainment systems funded by Alder Hey Children’s Charity reduce anxiety and boredom during treatment.

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The new hospital also features charitably funded cutting-edge lifesaving equipment, including integrated operating theatres, an intra-operative 3T MRI scanner, a unique hybrid operating theatre, CARTO system, Brain Lab navigation technology and an EOS imaging scanner.

Children and young people were involved in designing the new hospital. During an initial consultation back in 2009, almost 1000 patients drew pictures and shared their views on what their new hospital should look like. A Children and Young People’s Design Group, made up of current and former patients aged 10-22, also had their say throughout the design process on everything from the colour of their room, to the artwork displayed in the new hospital and what their wards should look like.

Eleanor Brogan, a member of the Children and Young People’s Design Group took part in the consultation back in 2009 and her picture was included in Alder Hey’s initial brief to architects BDP. She said: “I was a patient here when I was 14 years old and I wanted the new hospital to have open spaces, greenery and natural light. When I drew my picture seven years ago, I didn’t expect I would play such an important part in the design of the new Alder Hey. Since then I have been involved in many amazing design decisions and I’m really excited to show the facility to some of the patients who are going to benefit from this fantastic new hospital.”

Our History

Alder Hey was originally created as a workhouse, providing care for the sick. By July 1914 a portion of the institution was allotted for the accommodation for sick children after concerns were raised over a serious epidemic of eye disease in young children.

  • A new modern hospital was erected and opened its doors in October 1914. 350 children took occupancy of twelve wards, admitted from the workhouse, home or transferred from Walton Hospital.
  • During the Great War, Alder Hey was also used as a military hospital. It became a hospital just for children by the end of the war but was also used during the Second World War to care for allied and German soldiers (guarded by American police). With accommodation becoming very tight, ten extra brick huts were built at the far end of the hospital to house the military. Any soldiers well enough to do so would help carry children to the shelters during air raids.
  • Since the NHS was established in 1948, Alder Hey has seen many changes but has remained at the forefront of children’s healthcare. During our history, we have become known for a number of famous firsts. Penicillin was tested on a child for the first time at Alder Hey, saving a child from pneumonia in 1944 and we were the first to establish a neonatal surgical unit in the UK. Other ‘firsts’ include curing the most commonly encountered congenital heart defect and pioneering various splints and orthopaedic appliances.
  • In 2008 Alder Hey became a Foundation Trust.
  • In 2014, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital was given Freedom of the City in recognition of its treatment and care of children and young people for over a century. During a special celebration at the Town Hall, the City of Liverpool acknowledged Alder Hey’s contribution in making a huge difference to the lives of people in Liverpool and beyond.
  • Alder Hey moved into a brand new hospital ‘Alder Hey in the Park’ in October 2015. The new hospital has 270 beds, including 48 critical care beds for patients in ICU, HDU and Burns. There are six standard wards with 32 beds. Each ward has two four bed bays and 24 single rooms with en-suite bathrooms. The majority of bedrooms have park views and patients have easy access to play areas on and outside their ward. There are also 16 operating theatres, four for day-case surgery and twelve inpatient theatres.
  • We remain one of only four stand-alone paediatric trusts in the country, providing specialist treatment to children from across the UK.

Alder Hey Children's Charity
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Alder Hey Children's Charity