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Now let's see hospital built; ECHO.

IT'S nothing short of a ringing endorsement - and is just what the doctor (not to mention other staff members AND patients!) ordered.

Nine out of 10 people are backing ambitious - and necessary - proposals for a new pounds 288m Alder Hey Children's Hospital.

Bosses, fearful that their world-class hospital could be lost if not enough people supported their vision for a rebuild, are quite rightly delighted with the overwhelming result.

The health trust pleaded for thousands of people to respond to its consultation plans, in a bid to convince the government that a rebuild is required.

They knew Merseysiders supported Alder Hey, but they needed them to show it - and the good news is, they have!

Understandably, there were fears that a lack of interest could see the proposals for a new hospital shelved, resulting in patients, in the future, choosing to go to newer children's hospitals nearby, such as in Manchester.

Some 7,478 people took part in the consultation, with a healthily high number of responses - 953 - coming from children.

Also important, as well as nine in 10 adults supporting the rebuild phase, was the news that 19 out of 20 back a raft of proposals, including investment in more advanced technology and new drug treatments.

A rebuild is needed, officials say, because 42% of the current buildings are overcrowded, 38% are full and the remaining 20% are in the wrong place.

Alder Hey's chief executive, Louise Shepherd, has described the backing as "a truly staggering result" and "a massive vote of confidence" - and she's right to do so.

The people of Merseyside are proud of Alder Hey - and now, with so many having given their views, they will be looking forward with confidence to a new, improved hospital fit for the 21st century.

The Voice of Liverpool since 1879
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Sep 24, 2009
Words:301
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