Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (LUHFT) has confirmed that the long-awaited move to the new Royal Liverpool University Hospital will begin on 28 September 2022.
It comes after a critical milestone in the project was reached as the Trust took partial possession of the building from construction partners Laing O’Rourke on 11 July. This is an important step forward which allows the Trust to start the final phase of work to prepare for moving patients and staff across to the new hospital.
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 21 October 2022.
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 28 September 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 plays an important part 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.”
Natalie Forrest, Senior Responsible Officer for the New Hospital Programme, said: “I am delighted that the new Royal Liverpool University Hospital has reached this significant milestone, meaning that staff and patients will soon be able to benefit from these new state-of-art facilities, including specialist medical equipment and multi-million pound scanners.
“This follows a huge amount of work undertaken by the Trust and supported by the national programme to bring the project to this stage. The new hospital forms part of our investment in infrastructure across the NHS and will support the highest quality of care for the people of Liverpool for years to come.”
Construction teams will remain on site at the 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, creating swift access to specialist treatment for patients at both sites. The first link bridge was installed in June.
Join the Big Conversation about the new Royal
LUHFT has launched a Big Conversation to better understand the views of patients and the public ahead of the move into the new Royal Liverpool University Hospital later this year. The conversation runs until 29 July 2022 – you can find out more and share your views at https://bit.ly/3bZhbR6