Alder Hey to get freedom of the city in Liverpool

alder hey
Image caption Alder Hey Hospital will move to a new site - in a park - next year

A children's hospital in Liverpool is to be granted the freedom of the city.

Alder Hey will receive the honour at Liverpool Town Hall on Monday for its "tireless" work, the city council said.

Lord Mayor Erica Kemp said: "They have made such an enormous difference to so many families."

The hospital - which opened 101 years ago and cares for more than 275,000 children and young people annually - will next year move to a new site near its current location.

It was the first hospital in the UK to test penicillin - saving the life of a child suffering from pneumonia in 1944 - and to establish a neonatal unit.

Last year, health inspectors found Alder Hey was "effective and caring" with "staff going the extra mile". But it added safety, responsiveness and leadership "required improvement".

At the time, the hospital said improvements had been made since the inspection in May 2014.

Lord Mayor Kemp recalled that her own grandson Jonah was treated at the hospital after he was born seriously ill in January 2014.

"He was operated on a few days later and I am now delighted to say he is a wonderful, happy and healthy boy.

"My admiration for the treatment and care at Alder Hey is limitless as is my thanks and appreciation to all the staff who work there, past and present. They are truly deserving of this honour."

Sir David Henshaw, chair of Alder Hey, said patients were "at the centre of our plans for the future, helping us design a new hospital... to make it one of the best in the world".

Alder Hey will become the only European children's hospital in a park when it moves to its new site, adjacent to their current location, next year.

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