Cambridge Children’s newsletter – Oct 2020

Hello and welcome to the second edition of the Cambridge Children’s newsletter. Covid-19 has initially slowed our progress but we’re now back on track and look forward to sharing our journey with you….

Progress update

A children’s hospital for the east of England

Cambridge Children’s is more than a hospital. It is a whole new way of treating children across the east of England. 

We have spent the last 18 months working with colleagues across Cambridge University Hospitals, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, and the University of Cambridge, as well as our partners across the region on plans for a specialist children’s hospital. Embedded with genomic and psychological research, it’s a hospital designed to take care of the whole child integrating physical and mental health. We are looking at the whole picture, not just the illness, and we’ll lay healthy foundations for every child’s whole life.

More information is available on our website We would love you to take a look and there is a page here where you can sign up to get involved.

Our activity since Covid…

Despite the challenges of Covid-19 – which temporarily redeployed many team members onto a front line response caring for patients with coronavirus – we are now delighted to be fully engaged once again in making Cambridge Children’s a reality.

In April this year, we passed a critical milestone – approval of the Strategic Outline Case (SOC) by the Department for Health and Social Care, which allows us to access early draw-down funding set aside by the Government.

The money is being used to support the required next steps for the project, including the recruitment and appointment of a design team (see more below).

Our next major milestone is submission of the Outline Business Case which is due in spring/summer 2021. 


Design team to be announced

On 12 August we took the first step in procuring a design team for Cambridge Children’s, and we are now in the middle of a four month process to select the final team. From November the successful team will start working with stakeholders across the project to further understand what our hospital needs to include and prepare a design submission in our Outline Business Case.

The design team will work closely with children, young people and their families, as well as clinicians and other stakeholders from across the east of England to make sure we build the right hospital for their needs.

Graphic of how waiting area may look

Your views matter

Developing a shared vision for the children’s hospital and involving patients, families, carers, the third sector, stakeholders and the general public, is pivotal to the success of this project and will be a key focus over the next six months.

We’ve listened to a lot of your views already and we are committed to working in partnership with all of our stakeholders to co-develop services that truly meet the needs of children and young people.  
In particular we will be establishing a new Cambridge Children’s Network for children, young people and their families to get involved with the development of the hospital through a range of different engagement opportunities. We will be sending out information about the Network through our staff and partner organisations soon.
In the meantime, to get involved email

Clinicians invited to help build new vision

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

This group will bring together key paediatric leads from acute and community healthcare trusts across the East of England, along with commissioning representatives. It will be a chance to discuss, question and shape the future of Cambridge Children’s and examine how we can best provide innovative new care pathways for children and young people.

Clinicians who want to be involved in the project should email

Your stories

Molly the microbiologist

When seven-year-old Molly wrote a letter to doctors at Addenbrooke’s Hospital explaining her idea for curing Covid-19, she wasn’t expecting a reply.

Molly, who signed herself “Molly who wants to be a microbiologist”, had suggested that an antibody for Covid-19 could be found by getting patients to spit in test tubes and identify what was different to the spit from a non-Covid patient.

Professor Ian Goodfellow, Deputy Head of the Department of Pathology at Cambridge University, wrote back to her: “Your idea is great. People generate antibodies to Covid when they are infected, and if we can find those antibodies then we can understand how they kill Covid, and maybe even understand how to stop us getting infected in the first place.”

Whilst Molly was unable to come into Addenbrooke’s itself because of infection control measures in place at the hospital, it was safe for her to visit the neighbouring Jeffrey Cheah Biomedical Centre where she met university microbiologists working hard to help doctors treat Covid-19.


Born with Moebius syndrome, three-year old Charlee Baldwin has facial paralysis and weak upper body muscles which limit her movement. Her parents were told she would never move and she needed to be fed through a tube in her tummy. Now, thanks to a real team effort, not only has she learnt how to roll, sit and hold her head up she is also learning to eat puréed food and has started school.

Read Charlee’s story


Max Lee

Max was born with paralysed vocal cords which restricted his breathing and required a tracheostomy within his first few weeks of life. When it was time to remove the tracheostomy, a small part of 18-month old Max Lee’s rib cage was the key to reconstructive surgery which allowed him to breathe, swallow and communicate on his own.

Read Max‘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 using the form on our website here.