Plans announced for 'the most advanced child health technology centre in the world' to be built in Sheffield

Every child matters – that’s why leading health experts have spent the last three years developing plans for the most advanced child health technology centre in the world, which is set to be built in Sheffield.

Friday, 4th October 2019, 12:14 pm
Updated Wednesday, 9th October 2019, 3:30 pm
An image of the proposed Sheffield Children’s Hospital Centre for Child Health Technology.

Plans have been developed by Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust over the last three years, with the support of Sheffield’s Universities, the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the private sector, for the Sheffield Children’s Hospital Centre for Child Health Technology (CCHT).

The centre will become part of a rapidly growing cluster of international organisations at Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park aimed at improving public health and wellbeing.

Former Sports Minister and Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park Project Lead Richard Caborn has written to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and other senior decision makers in Government and Whitehall with full details of the centre and has asked for their support.

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Richard Caborn, project lead for the Olympic Legacy Park.

He said: “Investing in the CCHT and child health technology makes economic sense for the country and Sheffield City Region.

“The building of the centre could be completed within two years, as we have seen with the adjacent Advanced Wellbeing and Research Centre.

“Every £1 invested in child health returns more than £10 to society over a lifetime.

“So, a £20m investment to develop this has the potential to return more than £200m to the National Health Service in the future.

Professor Paul Dimitri, Professor of Child Health and Consultant in Paediatric Endocrinology at Sheffield Children’s Hospital

“It means that once again Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park will be in the spotlight delivering improvements in public health and wellbeing as part of its tangible legacy of the London 2012 Olympic Games.”

Ministers, MPs and Whitehall officials have also been invited to a special House of Commons briefing hosted by Clive Betts MP later this month.

Global industry leaders such as IBM, Philips and Canon Medical have already expressed support for the vision, which comes as the Government embarks on plans for a significant round of investment in new hospitals and health facilities.

At the CCHT, research will cover long-term conditions such as asthma, diabetes, epilepsy and mental health disorders, and the facility is set to provide the world’s most advanced healthcare for children and young people.

It will aim to support healthy behaviours early in life to prevent adult disease, prevent deaths in children and also prevent complications that arise from pre-term birth and childhood disease.

The experts also hope that it will reduce unnecessary hospital appointments and admissions to allow children with long-term conditions to go to school more often, support self-care and independence for millions of children with a disability and detect mental health conditions in childhood to support early intervention which will prevent mental health conditions in adulthood.

The CCHT also has the potential to bring substantial economic benefits to the city by supporting 110,000 sqm of employment floor space, 3,485 gross full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs, 318 higher value professional FTE jobs and 1,000 construction related jobs.

Driving the CCHT is Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, which has a strong track record in delivering child health technology development.

Professor Paul Dimitri, Professor of Child Health and Consultant in Paediatric Endocrinology at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, said: “Children truly matter.

“Sheffield Children’s Hospital has networks to provide foundation and expertise to accelerate adoption of technologies developed at CCHT and provide a valuable offering to the private sector to rapidly drive child health technology in the NHS.

“Through collaboration and a wealth of commercial opportunities, the CCHT will advance healthcare and provide the platform for the UK to become a world leader in child health technology.”

The Trust will be responsible for design and procurement and operations management.

Facilities at the new centre will include digital and advanced technology laboratories, clinical space and a thermal imaging suite.

There will also be therapy and rehabilitation rooms, test-bed facilities and a living laboratory, state-of-the–art offices, as well as seminar and conference rooms.

Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park currently includes the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre, National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine and National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering which is hosted by Sheffield Hallam University.