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Location and build specification

It’s very rare you have the chance to build something with the potential to impact the whole world. But, with Cambridge Children’s Hospital, we have just that.

Cambridge Children’s will be the first hospital in the world that fully integrates mental and physical health provision so that young people and their families experience complete and seamless care according to their individual needs. This will be underpinned by world-class research in child health and genomics.

The hospital brings together the unique offerings of its three partners: Cambridge University Hospitals, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Cambridge.

It will combine world-class child healthcare with leading life sciences focussed on early detection and prevention to improve life trajectories. Genomic medical research will aim at new treatments for rare and common disorders.

Situated alongside Addenbrooke’s and the Rosie Maternity Hospital on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Cambridge Children’s aims to model innovation in terms of:

  • Environmental impact and carbon neutral
  • Play, outdoor spaces, nature and education as part of care
  • Innovative design shaped by and for the children and their families
  • Creative therapies including music and the arts
  • Medical technology-enabled self-care by children and families, and treatment closer to home

Medical technology will inform all elements of the design – from arrival and navigation around the building through to supporting self-care.

Digitally led design will ensure effective use of space, which will include digitally friendly areas and reduced space for waiting areas and administrative space.

Progress to date

The project is proceeding apace with workstreams in full flow to integrate physical and mental health care, to actively engage health providers, children and their families across the region, to develop design and construction plans, and – crucially - to attract more than £100 million in philanthropic funding to add to the commitment of £100 million of public money announced in late 2018 by Matt Hancock.

Matt Hancock visiting the site for Cambridge Children's

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).

Boris Johnson

Prime Minister Boris Johnson also received a briefing on Cambridge Children’s, when he visited CUH in 2019. He is pictured here with Roland Sinker, CUH chief executive, who was showing him the land where the new hospital will be built.

In numbers

Number of children we currently see:

  • 100, 000 outpatients attendances
  • 7800 inpatient attendances
  • 7500 daycases


Our new hospital will house a state-of-the-art laboratory and ground-breaking research space, solely dedicated to improving the health of children and young people.


Cambridge Children’s is a hospital for children and young people. All spaces, wards, even operating theatres, will be co-designed and created with and for children, young people and families, helping to ensure the best possible experience and clinical outcomes.

Our spaces will be welcoming, encourage children to play, allow for children to be children and teens to be teens, for friendships to form, and for feelings to be expressed.

Play will be integral to our approach, as will creative therapies including music and art – taking inspiration from Cambridge’s theatres, museums and galleries, and benefit from the input of leaders like University of Cambridge’s Lego Professor of Play, Paul Ramchandani.

Play is the language of childhood and it’s essential that children have opportunities to play in hospital, so that they can maintain fun and friendships, and explore and express feelings and difficulties even in tough times – perhaps especially in tough times.

Paul Ramchandani, Lego Professor of Play, University of Cambridge

Outdoor space

The importance of outdoor space in promoting improved health and happiness has long been recognised, and research has shown a positive relationship between green space and general well-being.

Our new hospital will include outdoor space to provide access to nature.


Our hospital will enable the continuance of education at all levels.

We take a whole child-centred approach. The right care now, like helping a child continue their education during treatment, can transform the trajectory of recovery and influence outcomes across the whole life course.

Anna Maw, Consultant paediatric neurologist Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust

Healing spaces

Toddlers, children and adolescents each have very different needs - as do parents and siblings – but we are already thinking ahead to create healing spaces that feel homely to all our patients, knowing that this will help with their physical and mental recovery.

Our vision is to build respite, multi-faith and meditation spaces and to use calming design elements to support our distinctive model of psychologically informed care.

Equality and diversity

An image of a rainbow

Our project team will work closely with equality leads at Cambridge University Hospitals and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trusts during the detailed planning and construction phases.

Best practice will be utilised in terms of design, interior design and landscaping to ensure the needs of all are considered and wherever feasible catered for not merely to meet compliance but to enhance the facilities for all users.

Service users, patients and local residents will be consulted as part of the overall communication and engagement strategy and throughout the planning phases.

Car parking and travel

The new Cambridge Children’s Hospital will be based on the biomedical campus, which has a number of good public transport links. This will make the services easier for people to get to using public transport.

Car parking is an issue we will continue to explore with our design team as the project progresses.