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Friday, February 15, 2008

Liam and pals plan hospital

Liam and pals plan hospital

AMAZING fundraiser Liam Fairhurst is among a group of youngsters helping draw up plans for a children's hospital in Cambridge.

Liam, 12, is on a children's board that allows young people with experience as patients to have a say on £80 million plans for a world-class children's centre at Addenbrooke's Hospital.

The board, called ACTIVE (Addenbrooke's Children and Teenagers' Ideas and Venture Enterprise), has 28 members aged eight to 18 and has already met twice.

A group of youngsters, including Liam Fairhurst, are helping to draw up plans for a children's hospital in Cambridge.Liam, who has raised £135,000 for children's cancer charity CLIC Sargent in the midst of his second battle against the disease, is putting forward his ideas on how staff should relate to young patients at the hospital. The Soham Village College pupil, who is full of praise for the care he has received on the children's ward at Addenbrooke's, is eager to see the new facility take shape.

He said: "We are going to put our ideas into what the hospital should be like. Some people are thinking about how it should look and some people are thinking about how the doctors and nurses should treat children.

"I am thinking about how doctors and nurses should speak to us. Sometimes, the way people speak to you - they treat you as a patient not as a person. But everyone at Addenbrooke's is very nice and supportive."

There is one feature Liam is particularly keen to see: "Blackout blinds, so you can actually get some sleep!"

Liam, who lives in Soham, is making good progress after surgery at Addenbrooke's to remove a tumour from his lung in December. He said: "Everything is going really well."

It is hoped the children's hospital will rank alongside major children's centres such as Great Ormond Street in London and Alder Hey in Liverpool. Building work could begin by 2010, with the first patients admitted in 2013.

It would provide facilities for parents to stay overnight, and would cut stress for local families who could otherwise be forced to stay in other cities for long periods while their children receive specialist care.

Published in the Cambridge News : 11/02/2008


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