THESE are the first images of Southampton’s spectacular new £70m children’s hospital.

For the first time in the city’s history, all paediatric services will be brought under one roof to create a centre of excellence that will revolutionise the way sick and critically ill children are treated on the south coast.

One of only a handful of UK specialist hospitals for young people, the state-of-the-art facility will include: l Its own dedicated children’s accident and emergency department.

  • An exclusive child-friendly entrance to the children’s hospital.
  • The Ronald McDonald House, which will have 60 rooms for families of sick children.
  • An expansion of Southampton General Hospital’s already world-class paediatric intensive care unit.

Today Southampton hospital bosses have revealed the first artist’s impressions of what the multi-million-pound hospital will look like when it is expected to open in 2020.


From diagnosing children’s conditions pre-birth, to treating babies with complex conditions and youngsters into their late teens for any kind of medical condition or emergency, Southampton Children’s Hospital will rival its counterparts anywhere else in the country.

With multi-coloured walls, cartoons and graffiti-style artwork, it is all designed to make children feel as comfortable as possible when they are going through the most frightening time of their young lives.

Mark Hackett, chief executive of University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are unashamedly trying to create a national children’s hospital which the south can be proud of.

“We have got to do this, not only because the case emotionally is appealing but actually because in terms of logic it is the only way we can move forward.

“There is an increasing level of demand for these services and if we don’t aspire to meet it we will fail the generations in the future and we cannot afford to do that.”

Already partially built, it is housed on the main Southampton General Hospital site but will have its own entrance specially designed to suit the needs of young patients.

Southampton is already known for delivering worldclass healthcare for children in the region, with poorly youngsters from across the south admitted to the city for specialist care in all areas, including its internationally renowned paediatric intensive care unit and its children’s heart surgery unit which was recently scored as the second best in the UK.

But with those services currently dotted across the Tremona Road site and often within adult areas that do not always meet the needs of younger patients, bosses have been determined to realise the dream of a dedicated building to ensure that youngsters are offered the highest quality of hospital environments to help boost their recovery.

The new facility will allow the hospital to improve its already high quality services and meet ever-increasing demands.

The hospital is being built on land on the east side of Southampton General Hospital which before housed a disused residential block that towered at the emergency entrance.

Building work started in 2008 but there is a lot of work to be done before services start moving across in stages to ensure no disruption to services.

This phased approach will start with the opening in two weeks of the neurology services which have already moved across.

This will be followed by the start of work on the emergency department and paediatric assessment unit early next year.

The stage by stage process will also allow for hospital bosses to spread the cost of the project, using their annual capital budget for about £40m of the work before launching a major fundraising drive to fund the outstanding £30m.

Although it will have its own exclusive entrance on B Level, the children’s hospital will still be very much part of the existing hospital and will be connected via a link corridor, allowing a smooth transition of care to adult services for patients with long-term conditions.

Opposite the hospital, where the eye unit car park is currently, the Ronald McDonald House will be built offering 60 en-suite bedrooms for parents and families who want to stay close to their seriously ill youngsters.

It will be funded by the independent Ronald McDonald Houses charity, which has 15 hospital homes across the UK and funded the extension of Heartbeat House in Southampton in 2006.

Michael Marsh, medical director at the trust, said: “We are all committed to provide the best care for our children and this will provide us with the facilities to achieve that. We want the people of Southampton to be proud of this hospital and for the world-class services already in the city to get the recognition they deserve.”