PAPWORTH Hospital s move away from the village to a new £165million 290-bed purpose-built facility in Cambridge has come a step closer. Cambridge City Council has given outline planning consent for the huge biomedical complex planned for the Addenbrooke s

PAPWORTH Hospital's move away from the village to a new £165million 290-bed purpose-built facility in Cambridge has come a step closer.

Cambridge City Council has given outline planning consent for the huge biomedical complex planned for the Addenbrooke's site where the ground-breaking Papworth operation will occupy eight acres.

The move, which could see the new hospital opening in five years' time, now needs Department of Health approval of the business case before tenders are invited from across Europe under the Private Finance Initiative.

Papworth estimates that three years' construction work on the new hospital will start within two years of the necessary step of advertising the project in the European Journal.

Chief executive Stephen Bridge said: "Our team of staff at Papworth achieve some of the best outcomes in the world for our patients, despite the fact that we have a variety of aging buildings, many of which were not designed for the delivery of modern healthcare.

"The new hospital is needed to meet the growing demand for services and to ensure that, where required, patients have ready access to other clinical specialties on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.

"The location of the new hospital will increase our ability to enhance educational opportunities and provide additional jobs. It will also allow us to develop cutting-edge research programmes in order to continue to deliver state-of-the art treatment for our patients in the East of England region, the rest of the UK and beyond."

Papworth Hospital is one of the UK's leading specialist centres for the diagnosis and treatment of heart and lung disease, treating over 20,000 inpatient and day cases and over 40,000 outpatients each year from across the UK.

It has established a reputation for innovation and leading-edge research, and carried out the UK's first successful heart transplant in 1979, followed by Europe's first successful heart and lung transplant in 1984 and the world's first heart, lung and liver transplant in 1986.