Welcome to our Cambridge Children's Hospital newsletter!
As we draw closer to the end of 2023, it is a great time to reflect on the amazing year the Cambridge Children’s Hospital project and Campaign have had.
You can watch some of our key milestones and activity of 2023 in our end-of-year video (below), including the news of our Outline Business Case being approved, in principle; the launch of our Youth and Young Adult Forums; and taking part in Luton Carnival.
As Campaign co-chair, I also wanted to reflect on the wonderful news that the Cambridge Children’s Hospital campaign has passed the halfway mark of our fundraising and philanthropy target – with £56 million secured in pledges and gifts. This has been made possible by the support of more than forty extremely generous and committed donors who came on board during the early stages of the project to help make this hospital a reality.
The campaign was anchored by a cornerstone commitment of £20 million from Majid Jafar, his wife Lynn and the wider Jafar family. We also recently announced a £10 million gift from The Julius Jones Trust, which you can read more about here. We are hugely grateful and look forward to working with all of our supporters as we continue towards our goal of £100 million for this much-needed hospital.
In 2024, we are looking forward to launching the next phase of the campaign, where there will be more opportunities for the general public to get involved through their own fundraising events and activities.
We are delighted that pre-construction works are due to begin on the hospital site early next year, with full construction due to start in 2025.
From everyone on the project and campaign teams, we hope you have a wonderful festive season and we look forward to another exciting year to come. Thank you for your ongoing support.
With best wishes,
Enjoy our roundup of 2023!
You can also watch this video with audio descriptions here
The Whole Community
Rethinking the transition from paediatric to adult services
Members of our Youth Forum and our Young Adult Forum are making a difference to current services, whilst shaping how the future children's hospital will look and feel. They have been sharing their thoughts on how to improve the transition from children's to adult services at Addenbrooke's Hospital.
"The Cambridge Children’s Youth Forums are already changing how we think about this important step in a child’s healthcare journey. We can’t thank them enough for sharing their experiences and their ideas."
ITV Anglia report on our children and young people's engagement
A reporter from ITV Anglia went behind the scenes to look at how we are involving children and young people in the new hospital's design and development. Members of Cambridge Children's Network were interviewed about what the project means to them. We were delighted to headline the bulletin!
Share your insights as part of our Parent Carer Voice
With our Outline Business Case approved, in principle, the Cambridge Children's Hospital project is now planning detailed work on care pathways and operating models. With this in mind, we are inviting parents and carers with lived experience of caring for a child in hospital and/or mental health services to sign up to our Parent Carer Voice. This will allow us to reach out to the people with relevant experience when specific pieces of work arise.
Events around the region
It's been a busy Autumn spreading the word about the project and gathering feedback. We met young people at Cambridge Regional College's Freshers Fairs and at Young Healthwatch Central Bedfordshire's Health and Wellbeing Conference, where we ran a series of creative workshops.
We were pleased to meet parents and carers whose children have SEND at the Pinpoint Conference in October. It was a great opportunity to share how we are working to ensure Cambridge Children's Hospital is inclusive and accessible for all.
Finally, we talked to members of the public and NHS staff at the NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre open evening, sharing how our future hospital will shift away from reactive approaches to a focus on prevention, early detection and precision treatments.
The Whole Child
Launch of the East of England's first paediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Service
Addenbrooke’s Hospital is now home to the East of England’s first bone marrow transplant service for children and young people. This will move into Cambridge Children’s Hospital when it opens, with dedicated beds and facilities on the oncology ward.
The new regional service means families can stay closer to home during treatment. Fifteen-year-old Will Grocott from Baldock in Hertfordshire was the first patient to benefit, after receiving bone marrow from his older sister, Libby.
Dealing with leukaemia, not once but twice with the same team, has been such a big deal to us. We didn't have to split the family up, just when we needed each other most.
The Whole Picture
Spotlight on Staff
Our project Director Malcolm McFrederick talks to Shreyas about the exciting challenge of working on a unique hospital project. You can watch the full video and read the transcript, here.
The Whole Life
The 'gift' of diagnosis through genetic research
As a toddler, Owen Everitt had many invasive medical procedures to try to find out why he wasn't meeting his developmental milestones. He could not sit up, walk or talk.
Through Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS), it was discovered that Owen had an incredibly rare mutation. This was stopping his body from responding properly to thyroid hormone, which is essential for growth, brain development, cardiac and gastrointestinal function and normal metabolism.
Owen, now nine, is on treatment - a simple tablet, every day. His parents say he is making brilliant progress.
"All of your hopes and dreams for the future for your child, we thought all of those things wouldn’t happen. When we knew to some extent Owen’s condition could be treated, it was the best gift. It was amazing."
Cambridge Children's Hospital will have its own research institute, with six centres including a Centre for Genomic Medicine. This will deploy cutting-edge advances in genomic science – particularly whole genome sequencing and gene and cell therapies – to find new treatments and support children and young people across the region and UK.
Earlier diagnosis helps families avoid years of uncertainty, clinic appointments, invasive investigations and trials.
Celebration for cancer doctor
Children's cancer doctor, Professor Sam Behjati, has won a prestigious award for his pioneering work in understanding how childhood cancers develop and delivering state-of-the-art diagnostics.
Sam, who is a practising consultant at Addenbrooke's Hospital, was awarded the 2023 Foulkes Foundation Academy of Medical Sciences Medal. He leads a research group at the Wellcome Sanger Institute and is a Clinical Professor of Paediatric Oncology at the University of Cambridge. Read more here.
In other news
£10 million donation from Julius Jones Trust
The Julius Jones Trust – a UK charity dedicated to raising vital funds to support NHS services – have donated £10million to the Cambridge Children's fundraising campaign. The money will support spaces in the hospital, including family wellbeing rooms -multipurpose spaces away from clinical areas where families can spend quality time together during long hospital stays - and a central information hub that will provide vital support information for patients and their families. You can read more here.
"Our mission is to fund mental health and wellbeing services in the NHS for children, young people and families dealing with life changing diagnoses. Cambridge Children’s Hospital will be the first in the UK to provide this kind of integrated physical and mental healthcare, and so we are honoured that it is the first recipient of a £10m gift from the trust."
Young people join fundraising event in London
Fintan and Macie, both 15, gave excellent speeches at a fundraising campaign event at the Middle Eight Hotel in London. They shared their healthcare journeys - Fintan, as a patient, and Macie, as the sibling of a patient - and talked to guests afterwards.
Grant for specialist mental health research to speed up diagnosis and treatment
Dr Anna Moore and her team has secured £2.5 million to carry out research into how AI can improve early intervention for children and young people with mental health challenges. Anna is Assistant Professor in Child Psychiatry and Medical Informatics at the University of Cambridge and a child psychiatrist for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust. Read the BBC story here
Shared learning with other hospitals
The Cambridge Children's Hospital project team recently visited Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, where work is underway to develop a new children's cancer centre. Gaining inspiration and learning from other organisations is a key part of our work to develop the East of England's first specialist children's hospital.
We also enjoyed a visit from clinicians at Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark. They were interested to find out more about our vision for integrated mental and physical healthcare, which is something they are looking to develop for their own patients.