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Trust gets the key to Britain’s biggest children’s hospital

Construction of Britain’s biggest children’s hospital is complete. The Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, as it will be called, is the flagship of the four new hospitals making up the £500m new central Manchester hospitals development. Catalyst Healthcare (Manchester) Ltd, the consortium managing the project, will officially hand over the building to us at noon today. Trust chairman, Peter Mount, explains what the new hospital means for children’s services in the North West: “Today is a great day for the future of children’s services in Manchester. The Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital is a truly remarkable building which has state-of-the-art facilities, yet captures the spirit of what has made our two existing children’s hospitals so valued. “The new children’s hospital will bring benefits for patients and the dedicated clinicians who will continue their great work caring for the children of Manchester and beyond. “Staff are looking forward to visiting the site for their orientation to ensure that the hospital moves progress smoothly in June 2009.” Catalyst Healthcare chairman, Sir Tim Chessells, commented: “We couldn’t be more pleased with the finished article. From the time this project was commissioned and the plans were drawn up, there have been some high expectations - we are proud to deliver this hospital on time and on budget to the people of Manchester. “All the team have done a fantastic job in constructing a world-class hospital that everyone can be proud of and is sure to be the envy of NHS Trusts across the UK.” Construction project director, Graham Hiley of Bovis Lend Lease, added: “Delivering the largest children’s hospital in the UK is something we can be very proud of. This has involved a difficult logistics exercise with carefully planned moves and phases of work to ensure construction did not prevent the hospital from being fully operational at all times. We look forward to delivering the remaining hospital buildings over the coming months.” A period of commissioning of the new hospital by the Trust will now follow and an official opening date has been set for early June. Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital will house over 370 beds, 90 single bed rooms and offer specialist on-site accommodation and facilities for families and carers of patients. The children’s hospital site is the size of 39 football pitches and has taken less than four years to build. With four cutting-edge hospitals, the new hospitals development- also including a new Saint Mary's, Manchester Royal Eye Hospital and a new wing for Manchester Royal Infirmary - will cover a total area of over 265,000 square metres, nearly twice the size of the Trafford Centre.