HEALTH bosses say Clatterbridge Cancer Centre's new hospital will play a vital role in phase two of the NHS response to coronavirus when it opens next month.

Clatterbridge Cancer Centre - Liverpool will provide 'protected facilities' for people with cancer, many of whom would be particularly at risk if they catch coronavirus. It will also release capacity in other hospitals in the region.

The 11-storey hospital has 110 fully-single en-suite patient bedrooms which will reduce the risk of catching coronavirus. There are also special isolation facilities for patients whose immune systems mean they are particularly vulnerable to infection.

A spokesperson for Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust said the new hospital, due to open on June 27, aims to deliver a wide range of highly-specialist cancer care including pioneering chemotherapy, immunotherapy, gene therapy and radiotherapy.

It has state-of-the-art facilities for bone marrow transplant, diagnostics and imaging, outpatients, daycase treatments, a teenage and young adult unit, clinical therapies and a wide range of cancer information and support.

Being on site with Royal Liverpool University Hospital and University of Liverpool, it will become the main hub in The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust's network of treatment centres, including its Wirral and Aintree sites, hospitals across Cheshire and Merseyside and community settings including patients' homes and workplaces.

The trust will continue to provide specialist cancer care at its existing sites in Wirral, Aintree, acute hospitals across the region and in the community when the new hospital opens.

The new hospital is part of a £162m investment that also includes upgrades and refurbishment at Clatterbridge Cancer Centre in Wirral.

Dr Liz Bishop, the trust's chief executive, said: "Clatterbridge Cancer Centre - Liverpool is the culmination of an eight-year vision for transforming cancer care in a region with one of the highest rates of cancer in the country.

"It brings state-of-the-art facilities and pioneering cancer treatments to Cheshire and Merseyside at a time when they are more vitally needed than ever.

"We are tremendously excited about opening Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – Liverpool.

"It has been a huge labour of love and I would like to pay tribute to our staff, the Laing O'Rourke site team, our suppliers, subcontractors and all the partners who have helped to bring it to fruition."

Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram said: "The opening of this crucial facility will be of huge benefit to the people of the city region.

"This is especially good news in these current testing times when NHS resources have been so stretched dealing with coronavirus.

"It adds to our city region's strengths in health and life sciences and is yet another world-leading asset for the growing Knowledge Quarter."

Paul McNerney, director of UK Building at Laing O'Rourke, said: "The opening of Clatterbridge Cancer Centre - Liverpool will enable our remarkable NHS to provide cancer patients from Liverpool and across the North West with the best possible care at this time of national crisis.

"Knowing this made us determined to accelerate completion of the hospital, and I am incredibly proud of the workforce, sub-contractors and partners who are working flat out and have made major changes to how they work to maintain social distancing whilst completing the Centre.

"I know that the whole project team shares in my gratitude to all those working in the NHS and we're proud to be able to support them by delivering this world class facility."