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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Liam Thorp

New Royal Liverpool Hospital move to finally begin as date confirmed

The long-awaited move of staff and facilities into the new Royal Liverpool Hospital will begin at the end of September.

New images released today show how the state-of-the-art building is finally close to being ready after a gruelling period of delays and problems. The Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has confirmed that the move from the current Royal site to the new building will begin from September 28.

The trust will begin its 24-day move plan that will see staff, patients and services move across to the new building in a phased approach, with the move complete by October 21, 2022. The news comes as the Trust took partial possession of the building from construction partners Laing O’Rourke this week. This is an important step forward for the project which allows the trust to start the final phase of work to prepare for moving patients and staff across to the new hospital.

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The new Royal Liverpool Hospital was initially due to open in 2017 but has been beset by problems, largely caused by the collapse of construction giant Carillion. Five years on from that date and the prospect of Liverpool having its new hospital open to the public is edging ever closer.

James Sumner, Chief Executive at LUHFT, said: “The new hospital marks the beginning of a new era of healthcare in the city, when the people of Liverpool will finally have the hospital and facilities that they deserve. Today represents a real milestone in the life of Liverpool University Hospitals and in the construction of the new Royal Liverpool University Hospital. I’m delighted that we have taken possession of the building from our construction partners Laing O’Rourke.

“We are also now formally confirming Wednesday, September 28 2022 will be the day we begin moving into the new hospital. For everyone involved - our patients and their families, colleagues and the public across the Liverpool City Region - this is a fantastic day. After a lot of anticipation, we are now able to say that we will be moving to the new Royal Liverpool University Hospital.

“I want to thank everyone involved for the dedication and hard work involved in getting the project to this point. Now, we can look forward with great excitement to opening the doors on a new hospital that the people and the city of Liverpool deserve.”

This announcement reflects a busy period of activity with everything from specialist medical equipment, such as multi-million pound scanners, to office supplies, desks and PCs being installed in the new hospital. The new Royal is set to play a vital role in changing the way healthcare services are delivered across the city and improving the quality and standards of care for patients.

In addition to the move, there are proposals to move five services between the Royal and Aintree University Hospital, also run by LUHFT, which are subject to public consultation, along with a significant investment programme at Aintree University Hospital to upgrade the facilities on this site too.

Sue Musson, Chair of LUHFT, said: “We know this hospital is long-awaited. I would like to thank our teams for the phenomenal work they have done to reach this point. Our focus is on planning the safe move into the new Royal. It will be so rewarding when we are finally able to welcome patients and visitors to this fabulous new facility later this year.”

Michelle Jones, Ward Manager in Critical Care at the Royal, spoke about her excitement ahead of the move to the new hospital. She said: “At the moment in Critical Care we have three separate units across three floors. Once we move into the new Royal, we’re going to be located together, which is exciting for us as a team and fantastic for our patients. It means the patient can stay in the same room and the team caring for them can change, depending on the patient’s needs. Being in one place means we can up-skill our staff, so we have more staff able to care for the most seriously unwell patients in critical care, which again is a great benefit for our patients.”

To support the transition to the new hospital, significant investment is being made across all sites within the trust, including a £52m investment package at Aintree University hospital, which includes a £16m investment to improve the Emergency Department as well as the development of hybrid operating theatres, which will support the delivery of specialist surgical services.

Andy Thomson, Laing O’Rourke Project Director, said: “Laing O’Rourke was appointed to complete the 640-bed hospital in 2018, and reaching today’s milestone is testament to the hard work of our workforce and supply chain partners. I would like to thank every one of them for their commitment and hard work on this unique project.

“Handing over a new hospital always gives our entire team an immense sense of pride. It is the point at which the hospital healthcare teams begin their familiarisation and training in a new facility that will help them deliver the world-class care for which the NHS is renowned.

"This is the 17th hospital that our experienced healthcare team has delivered in the UK since 2010, and alongside Alder Hey and Clatterbridge Cancer Centre is the third one to serve the people of Merseyside. I am very proud of the latest hospital we have delivered and I hope it will help the NHS’s dedicated staff continue to provide excellent care for the people of Liverpool."

Construction teams will remain on site at the new Royal into 2023 to complete internal and external works, particularly the new podium main entrance drop-off, which will allow easier access for patients and visitors. In addition, the final two of three link bridges will be installed to link the new Royal with Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, which aims to create swift access to specialist treatment for patients at both sites. The first link bridge was installed in June.


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