Cambridge Children’s Newsletter – Issue 1

Hello and welcome to the first Cambridge Children’s newsletter. 2020 is a big year for us – and we want you to join us on our journey. Please read on and find out more…

Progress update

A children’s hospital for the east of England

Just over a year ago, Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, committed £100 million of public funding for a purpose-built children’s hospital in Cambridge, serving the east of England region – currently the only region in the UK without one.

Cambridge Children’s aspires to be more than a hospital. We are seeking a visionary new approach to healthcare for young people across the east of England. We will treat the whole child, not just illnesses or conditions, using all the talent available across the region.

We are a unique collaboration between Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH), the University of Cambridge and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT), which is the mental and community health services provider.

Last year we developed our plans for a specialist children’s hospital which integrates mental and physical health, with world-class Cambridge research at its centre. Located in the heart of the Cambridge Biomedical Campus – Europe’s leading life sciences hub – Cambridge Children’s will channel latest research, whilst still having immediate and smooth access to the on-site expertise of CPFT, Addenbrooke’s, the Rosie and the Royal Papworth.

Cambridge Children’s – and its promise of innovation in paediatric care – will only be realised through philanthropic support. We must match the government’s investment by raising £100 million. By combining public funds and philanthropy, we will create a truly transformational children’s hospital that not only treats children in the east of England but models a visionary new approach to child health with national and global impact.

The year ahead…

We are awaiting formal approval of our Strategic Outline Case from NHSE and the government. When approval is granted we will be able to access government funding to support the project’s priorities for the coming year which include:

  • Appointing an architect and design team who will work with stakeholders to inform the creation of an Outline Business Case
  • Continuing engagement and communication with those involved in the project to ensure their voices are heard
  • Framing the campaign to raise £100 million in philanthropy and attracting initial support from donors who are inspired by the vision of Cambridge Children’s and who share its ambition to transform child healthcare, benefiting children and young people, today and long into the future.

We hope to be in touch with many of you over the next year to make this project a reality.


Health Secretary visits site of new hospital

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock underlined his support for Cambridge Children’s during a recent visit to Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

During the visit he spent time with two-year-old Millie-Mae from Suffolk. The management of her epilepsy has improved since her whole genome was sequenced as part of the Next Generation Children’s project at Addenbrooke’s.

Genomic medicine will constitute a prime area of research for Cambridge Children’s and place it at the centre of a global transformation in children’s health. Our vision is to re-imagine the way we think about health and how disease prevention could start from birth – or even before.

Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care at the site where the new hospital will be built with (left to right) Dr Rob Heuschkel, clinical director for Cambridge Children’s; Dr Cathy Walsh, deputy medical director, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) and Roland Sinker, Chief Executive, Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH).

Prime Minister Boris Johnson also received a briefing on Cambridge Children’s, when he visited CUH recently.

He is pictured here with Roland Sinker, CUH chief executive, who was showing him the land where the new hospital will be built.

Building a shared vision across the region

Face to face talks have been taking place with paediatric staff from hospitals across the east of England.

Dr Rob Heuschkel, clinical director for Cambridge Children’s, has been meeting with colleagues from 17 hospitals across the region to discuss how we can best work together to provide physical and mental health services for children and young people.

A reference group is now being established so that clinical and operational staff from across the region can meet on a regular basis to help build the vision for the new hospital.

Rob says: “We would like to thank everyone who has given their time to speak with us so far. We’ve had some amazing feedback which will help shape the new children’s hospital and improve paediatric care across the region.”

Clinicians who want to be involved in the project should email

Look East feature Cambridge Children’s

BBC Look East has broadcast a special feature about Cambridge Children’s.

More than six million viewers across the region tuned in to hear about our vision to combine physical and mental healthcare with the latest ground-breaking research to improve care for children across the east of England.

Presenter Janine Machin is pictured talking to parents on a paediatric ward at Addenbrooke’s.

The programme also featured interviews with CPFT’s child psychiatrist Jo Holmes, Rob Heuschkel and Professor David Rowitch from the University of Cambridge.

Children give voice to their ideas

Cambridge Children’s organised a fun day to ask families what they wanted from the new planned regional children’s hospital.

More than 20 children and 10 parents and carers attended the day, hosted by Peterborough’s Family Voice, to talk about their views and share their experiences. The event included activities to support young people to effectively share their views – including drawing pictures, playing games and group discussions.

Under starter’s orders at Chariots of Fire

Cambridge Children’s enjoyed its first public outing at the Chariots of Fire relay event to raise money for a new children’s ambulance being funded by ACT.

The event saw over 2100 runners congregate on Queen’s Green in Cambridge to run the 1.7 mile relay race.

Volunteers wore yellow Cambridge Children’s t-shirts to help raise awareness of our plans to build the first children’s hospital for the east of England.

Sponsorship funds collected by ACT are aiming to fund a new emergency children’s ambulance service, dedicated to providing over 1,700 of the region’s sickest children with the highest level of care.

Tamsin Ford CBE

Tamsin has joined the team as Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Cambridge.

She said: “One of the many areas of research at Cambridge Children’s will be learning more about how and when we should intervene to prevent mental health issues developing in children.

“We will work closely with schools and the local community with a focus on early detection and intervention, because delivering the right care, in the right place, at the right time will vastly improve outcomes over a lifetime.”

Your stories


The importance of treating children as individuals with unique and complex care needs has been highlighted by the mother of a girl recovering from an aggressive brain tumour.

Noemi Drogu’s daughter, Zofeya was just four years old when she started to bump into things and her balance and coordination became less controlled.

Read Zofeya’s story


An approach to combine mental and physical healthcare has transformed the life of a 12-year-old girl who had been confined to a wheelchair for three years.

Jasmine Hunt was a bright, cheerful, athletic child who enjoyed gymnastics until she injured her knee falling from a trampoline. Unable to walk and play normally she became very withdrawn and couldn’t attend school anymore.

Read Jasmine’s story

Get in touch

We want to create a children’s hospital which will serve the health needs of children, young people, their families and carers from the east of England. We believe the best way of achieving this goal is to make sure as many people as possible have their say and have an opportunity to get involved.

If you would like to get involved, receive updates and find out about events, please let us know.