Alder Hey Childrens Hospital


Alder Hey Children’s Hospital
Visited with: Alex
Visit Date: August 2016

Please Note: Entry is always through an open access point and not by forcing our way in….. We are explorers, not vandals.

My Visit
I have to say that this visit one was of mixed emotions, the deadly quiet of this once bustling hospital allowed the mind to wander and wander it did. I could not help but feel sad at the thought of the pain, heartache and worry that so many children, parents and staff will have had to bare here over the years…..

But then, a feeling of happiness, a happiness that a child is getting better, recovering from their illness… Smiling children, parents and staff all knowing that a once poorly child, son, daughter, niece, nephew will be back home soon living life with a spring in their step…..

As I said above, this visit was hard on my emotions, much more that any other place I have visited over the years. It also gave me a better understanding of why we should appreciate our Health Professionals, the emotional ride they must take each day has to be hard especially when working with poorly children.

On a final note, I do feel that this visit helped steer me in a new direction, a new career choice, a new outlook on life. I now find myself a part of this wonderful team, albeit not at Alder Hey or personally helping the patients, I help to maintain the IT infrastructure for those who are trained to help and I could not be prouder.

History of Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, 1910 – 2015
1910: The Board of Poor Law Guardians purchase Alder Hey, a mansion set in 25 acres of land in West Derby, with the intention of building a new workhouse for the city’s poor. The plans include an area dedicated to caring for the paupers’ sick children.

1914: The doors of Alder Hey are opened after the outbreak of the First World War so the building can serve as a military hospital. But the wards designed for caring for children retain their purpose. An American military camp is also established in the grounds. After the war, the building is firmly established as a children’s hospital.

1924: The hospital grows over the years and in October 1924, a decade after opening, the nurses’ home is expanded so there are more staff to look after Liverpool’s sick children.

1939 – 1945: The Second World War sees parts of Alder Hey again used to treat military casualties, but the majority of the hospital remains occupied by paediatric patients.

1944: Penicillin is first tested at Alder Hey to save the life of a child with pneumonia, a ground-breaking moment in medical history.

1950s: Alder Hey opens a neonatal unit to treat sick babies that has since saved thousands of lives. This was the first neonatal unit in the country.

1964: Alder Hey celebrates its jubilee year with a ceremony at Liverpool Cathedral.

1970s: Alder Hey was never short of celebrities to come and brighten up the children’s days. Visits in the 1970s included three-time Grand National winner Red Rum and Doctor Who star Tom Baker.

1990: Princess Diana visits Alder Hey to meet parents and patients.

1993: Ronald McDonald House house opens to provide a home away from home for the families of sick children being treated at Alder Hey. It initially has just 26 bedrooms but has expanded twice and now offers accommodation to 84 families each night.

2005: After announcing its desire for a new hospital building, it looked for a while like Alder Hey may end up making a new home for itself in Widnes due to planning permission issues. But an ECHO campaign to keep the hospital in Liverpool was a success, with more than 4,000 sending in coupons for our petition within days.

Three other sites were also considered before it was decided the hospital would be rebuilt on Springfield Park, next to the current site. The three other plots of land considered were: the former Stanley abattoir in Prescot Road, Kensington, the then derelict Speke airport site and land near Thingwall Hall, Broadgreen, which was just over the border in Knowsley.

2006: Anew neurology unit opens at Alder Hey, adding to the number of pioneering services available at the hospital.

2012: Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, visits the Alder Hey, becoming the latest in a long line of high-profile royals to have been seen the hospital.

2013: After the plans to rebuild Alder Hey on the neighbouring Springfield Park are approved, work begins to create a new £237m hospital.

The new Alder Hey will contain 270 beds in total.

There will be 48 beds for children in the intensive care, high-dependency and burns units.

There will be 16 digitally enhanced operating theatres to provide life-saving treatment to thousands of children a year.

70% of children at the hospital will be given their own private, en-suite bedrooms.

2015: The new Alder Hey is officially unveiled to the world on 1st October 2015. This is followed by a five-day transfer period while patients and equipment are moved from the old building into the new site.

I hope you like the images. You can click any image for a larger view.

The final three images are writings left on the wall from the staff when the relocation happened, I stood and read these walls for a long while… Especially Blakey’s cubicle 🙁

Thanks for reading,

Alan Duggan

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