There is no doubt that the emotional and physical well being of a child has a direct impact on their adult health. It is also widely accepted that physical health and mental health are fundamentally linked. And, it is, of course, true 'that children are our future' as the late Whitney Houston once sang. Investing in the health of our children is advantageous not only to them and their families but to the future of society as a whole.
I am therefore thrilled that a new, state of the art, children’s hospital to be built on the Addenbrooke's/Royal Papworth site has been given the go ahead by Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock.
This is big news for our constituency. The new hospital will be the first of its kind in the region and is set to radically transform healthcare for children and their families in the east of England. What's more it is a hospital that aims to join the dots in treating mental and physical health together.
This new venture will bring together some of the world’s top scientists. It will be a world class facility and will explore new ways of diagnosing and treating some of the most challenging childhood diseases.
The vision to bridge the gap between mental and physical health and radically transform healthcare for children and their families in our midst is extremely exciting. Many people over many years have been pressing for a bespoke children’s hospital. We have the expertise. And now we will have the facilities to match and the facilities to further improve the future of healthcare for our children.
£100 million of public capital has been released for the first phase of development. This funding is part of a package for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, which also includes £25 million for Hinchingbrooke Hospital, £19 million for Addenbrooke’s and £18m for the East of England Ambulance Service. The project is a partnership between the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Trust and Cambridge University Hospitals Trust, as well as other bodies such as Cambridge University.
We are widely acknowledged as a centre of medical excellence. News, two weeks ago, that a revolutionary new breath test to detect cancer has been developed in our region and is to be trialled at Addenbrooke’s Hospital further champions this.
As we head into 2019 with all the anticipated challenges, it is worth taking a moment to consider just how much we have to be proud of locally and just how much we have to celebrate.