The Pandemic Institute showcases achievements to philanthropic donor

The Pandemic Institute has welcomed a visit from Dr Charles Huang, whose company Innova Medical Group provided the initial £10m philanthropic donation that founded the Institute. Launched in 2021, The Pandemic Institute is a unique collaboration of academic, health and civic partners, whose mission is to tackle emerging infections and future pandemic threats.

Liverpool was chosen to be the home of The Pandemic Institute thanks to its unique ecosystem, hosting medical, veterinary, public health, tropical medicine and behavioural science schools and institutes. Liverpool has an unrivalled breadth of world-leading clinical and academic expertise in the areas required to deliver an end-to-end response to the challenge of emerging infections and future pandemics, all co-located in one city. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Liverpool pioneered innovative approaches including a whole city community testing pilot which cut transmission rates by a fifth, as well as hosting large-scale pilot events on behalf of the Government that provided evidence of how to safely reopen important sectors of the economy – developing Liverpool’s reputation as a leader in pandemic management and resilience.

The Pandemic Institute also builds on Liverpool’s work leading the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Health Protection Research Unit in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections (since 2014) which was at the forefront of the UK research response to Ebola, Zika and Covid-19. During the visit, the team at TPI were proud to showcase some of the things the institute has achieved since it’s formation, including identifying and funding high priority research during the MPox outbreak, establishing a £5M research partnership with Seqirus – a global leader in influenza, and more recently providing funding to employ key research or technical staff who will carry out a range of pandemic preparedness projects, and be ready to pivot to respond rapidly against any new threat that arises. The Pandemic Institute also manages the UK Pandemic Sciences Network, which brings together the UK’s leading pandemic science research teams to support the delivery of the G7’s 100 Days Mission.

As part of his visit, Dr Huang joined TPI director Professor Tom Solomon who was hosting a session on ‘preparing for future pandemics’ at The Royal Society Creating Connections event. He also joined members of the TPI team for a tour of some of the fantastic facilities Liverpool has to offer including the Digital Innovation Facility, the infectious diseases labs at University of Liverpool, the NIHR Clinical Research Facility at the Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and the Accelerator Research Clinic at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.

“I’m delighted to visit my PhD mentor Professor Steven Young’s Alma mater – the University of Liverpool – and The Pandemic Institute, and hear about the Institute’s work and progress. Now with Innova Nanojet Technologies’ award winning and breakthrough product that can effectively and efficiently remove airborne viruses, pollens and pollutants, we are now in a position to continue to support the Institute, the University of Liverpool and the city of Liverpool to remain at the forefront of combatting pandemics”.

Dr. Huang is the founder and chairman of Pasaca Capital Inc., who own Innova Medical Group, he founded the Charles Huang Foundation in 2020, looking for meaningful ways to give back to society and help others.

Professor Tom Solomon CBE, from the University of Liverpool’s Infection, Veterinary and Ecological Sciences Institute, and Director of The Pandemic Institute said:

“It’s been wonderful to host Charles in Liverpool, and show him just some of the work we have been doing supported by his initial investment.”

Learn more about the work of The Pandemic Institute and the founding partners here.

Paddington Community Diagnostic Centre opens to patients

Thousands set to benefit from faster access to vital NHS tests as new Paddington Community Diagnostic Centre opens to patients

People in Liverpool will now benefit from faster access to vital tests and scans for a wide range of health conditions, with the opening of a new NHS community diagnostic centre on the Paddington Village development in Edge Hill.

The new Paddington Community Diagnostic Centre offers tests to people referred by health professionals to check for a wide range of conditions including musculoskeletal problems, gastrointestinal conditions, lung conditions and cancer. It will help them get a confirmed diagnosis so they can begin the treatment they need or to get the all-clear, putting their minds at rest.

The centre is just the first phase of a wider development transforming what was previously the privately-run Rutherford Cancer Centre North West into a first-class NHS facility for the people of Cheshire and Merseyside. In a landmark agreement in March 2023, The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust acquired the building on behalf of the NHS in our region.

Initially, Paddington Community Diagnostic Centre will offer MRI and ultrasound scans as well as blood tests (phlebotomy). That will extend to CT scans from the autumn once a new scanner has been installed and commissioned. Future phases will see it expand with additional services, further boosting NHS diagnostic capacity in response to local demand.

Community diagnostic centres (CDCs) provide the NHS with additional capacity to carry out vital tests and scans in locations away from the pressures of a busy acute hospital providing emergency care.

Paddington Community Diagnostic Centre is the eighth CDC to open in Cheshire and Merseyside, which has been at the vanguard of rolling out the new centres as part of a national NHS England programme supported by government funding.

St Helens was the first CDC to open nationally, closely followed by Clatterbridge Diagnostics in Wirral. Cheshire and Merseyside now has CDCs in Ellesmere Port, Liverpool Women’s, Northwich, Southport and Halton, with two more on the way: one in Congleton and one at Shopping City in Runcorn.

Together, the new CDCs in Cheshire and Merseyside have already delivered 250,000 additional tests and scans for the NHS than would have been possible without them – a figure that will rise to 318,000 in 2023/24. That’s important because demand has grown year on year.

The number of diagnostic tests performed now is double what it was five years ago, with more than 100,000 carried out each month in Cheshire and Merseyside and demand keeps rising. It means CDCs are an essential tool in cutting waiting times and supporting earlier, faster diagnosis. 

Dr Liz Bishop, Chief Executive of The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust and Senior Responsible Officer for Diagnostics in Cheshire and Merseyside, said: 

“People in Liverpool are more likely to experience ill health than the national average so it’s particularly important that they can get the tests they need when symptoms develop.

“Faster and earlier access to tests thanks to community diagnostic centres like this will mean people with potentially serious conditions – and those living with pain or other symptoms – can get diagnosed and start treatment more quickly, giving them a better quality of life and a better chance of a successful outcome.

“Paddington Community Diagnostic Centre will help people with many different kinds of health conditions and we feel a real responsibility as a leading specialist trust to develop services like this that support the wider NHS and the communities we serve across Cheshire and Merseyside.”

Dr Michael Gregory, Regional Medical Director at NHS England – North West, said:

“We know that rapid diagnosis saves lives, and the opening of this new facility at the Paddington Village will mean thousands more patients can get life-saving tests, checks and scans in the heart of the community, without having to travel to the hospital.

“This new community diagnostics centre will help address disparities in health within the wider community and decrease the demand for referrals and hospital visits, easing the pressure on hospital facilities.

“It is another fantastic step to ensure that the NHS is making a positive difference to the way the people of Liverpool and beyond receive care.”

Professor Rowan Pritchard Jones, Medical Director for NHS Cheshire and Merseyside, said:

“We are one of the few health systems in the country to have a dedicated programme to improve diagnostics and we welcome the opening of this additional Community Diagnostics Centre for Cheshire and Merseyside as part of that work, helping us to give patients much quicker access to the tests and scans they need. We know that diagnosing patients as soon as possible can lead to better treatment outcomes, which is why centres like this one in Paddington Village are so important.”

Tracey Cole, Diagnostics Programme Director for NHS Cheshire and Merseyside, said:

“Excellent healthcare can only be provided once a patient has a diagnosis. Paddington Community Diagnostic Centre will help ensure that everyone in Cheshire and Merseyside has fast access to the tests they need in a setting local to them. Paddington Community Diagnostic Centre will see all types of patients, not just those who could have cancer. We want patients who are offered an appointment to take up their offer so that we can either rule out anything to be concerned about or be offered treatment if it is required.”

About The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre

The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust is one of the UK’s leading cancer centres, serving a population of 2.4m in Cheshire & Merseyside and surrounding areas including the Isle of Man and parts of Lancashire.

We provide highly-specialist services including pioneering chemotherapy, immunotherapy and radiotherapy. Our unique networked model includes three Clatterbridge Cancer Centres (Liverpool, Wirral and Aintree), Clatterbridge clinics in other hospitals, and our multi-award-winning Clatterbridge in the Community service treating patients at home.

Our flagship Liverpool hospital opened in June 2020 with state-of-the-art facilities including 110 individual inpatient rooms, stem cell transplant, radiology, a Teenage & Young Adult Unit, clinical therapies, and a wide range of cancer information and support.

We are also a leading research centre with an extensive portfolio of clinical trials including early phase and first-in-human (Phase 1). We are part of Liverpool ECMC (experimental cancer medicine centre), a Biomedical Research Centre with The Royal Marsden, and Liverpool CRF (clinical research facility).

About CDCs in Cheshire and Merseyside

Eight community diagnostic centres (CDCs) have now opened in Cheshire and Merseyside since the programme launched in 2021:

  • Ellesmere Port – Ellesmere Port Hospital (run by Countess of Chester Hospital)
  • Liverpool – Liverpool Women’s Hospital (run by Liverpool Women’s)
  • Northwich – Victoria Infirmary (run by Mid Cheshire Hospitals)
  • Paddington – Paddington Village (run by The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre)
  • Runcorn – Halton Hospital (run by Warrington and Halton Hospitals)
  • Southport – Southport Hospital (run by Mersey and West Lancashire Teaching Hospitals)
  • St Helens – St Helens Hospital (run by Mersey and West Lancashire Teaching Hospitals)
  • Wirral – Clatterbridge (run by a partnership between The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre and Wirral University Teaching Hospital)

Two more are due to open by the end of 2023/24: one in Congleton and one at Shopping City in Runcorn.

New Paddington diagnostic centre to offer earlier access to vital health tests for people in Liverpool

People in Liverpool are set to benefit from earlier access to vital tests for a wide range of health conditions after NHS leaders agreed a deal for a new community diagnostic centre (CDC) in Paddington Village.

In a landmark agreement, the NHS has acquired the formerly privately-run Rutherford Cancer Centre North West from Equitix, which owned it. The state-of-the-art facility will now be transformed into a new NHS diagnostics centre for people from across Liverpool. The deal is fantastic news for the city, converting the former Rutherford Health building into a first-class NHS facility.

The new community diagnostic centre will be owned and operated by The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust on behalf of the NHS in Cheshire and Merseyside. It is expected to open by the summer.

Community diagnostic centres provide the NHS with additional capacity to carry out vital tests and scans in locations away from the pressures of a busy acute hospital providing emergency care.

The new Paddington Village CDC will offer tests to people referred by their GP or other health professionals to check for a wide range of conditions including musculoskeletal problems, cancer, cardiac issues and gastrointestinal disease.

It will help them get a confirmed diagnosis so they can get the treatment they need or the all-clear, putting their minds at rest. This is particularly important where someone has symptoms that could be cancer.

Initially, the CDC will offer CT, MR and ultrasound scans as well as blood tests (phlebotomy). Future phases will see it expand to provide more tests, further boosting NHS diagnostic capacity in response to local demand.

Cheshire and Merseyside has been at the vanguard of rolling out community diagnostic centres (CDCs) as part of a national NHS England programme supported by government funding. It launched the first CDC nationally in St Helens and there are now six CDCs in our region (Ellesmere Port, Liverpool, Northwich, Southport, St Helens and Wirral), with a further three – including this one – due to open in the next six months. 

Dr Liz Bishop, Chief Executive of The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust and Senior Responsible Officer for Diagnostics in Cheshire and Merseyside, said: 

“People in Liverpool are more likely to experience ill health than the national average so it’s particularly important that they can get the tests they need when symptoms develop.

“This approval for a new community diagnostic centre in Paddington Village is fantastic news for the city and will significantly enhance CT, MRI and ultrasound capacity for the NHS in Liverpool, helping people get diagnosed and access any treatment they need as soon as possible.”

NHS England’s medical director for transformation and secondary care, Dr Vin Diwakar, said:

“I’m delighted this new community diagnostic centre will be opening in Liverpool, adding to the six existing centres across Cheshire and Merseyside and making it more convenient than ever for local patients to get their tests and checks in convenient, dedicated diagnostic locations.

“These centres are vital to ensure patients receive quicker diagnoses and quicker treatment, with a record number of tests and checks delivered in January helping to improve outcomes for a range of health conditions including cancer and helping us deliver on the next stage of our elective recovery plan to reduce the longest waits for care.”

Siôn Jones, Chief Operating Officer, Equitix, said:

“We are delighted to be able to help support the provision of this state-of-the-art centre at Paddington Village, which will provide the people of Liverpool with additional capacity to carry out vital tests and treatments in a comfortable environment.”

The new Paddington Village CDC will be the second such venture for The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre has opened. In 2021, it opened one of the nation’s first community diagnostics centres – Clatterbridge Diagnostics in Wirral – in partnership with Wirral University Teaching Hospital. Paddington Village CDC will be a spoke of the Clatterbridge Diagnostics CDC in Wirral.

HEMISPHERE to become one of first new builds in the UK designed to achieve six global sustainability accreditations

Sciontec’s £56m landmark building on Paddington Village in the Knowledge Quarter Liverpool Innovation District will be operational Net-Zero, Platinum WELL, BREEAM Excellent, EPC Rated A, WiredScore Certified and targets a NABERS 5.5* rating.

As part of the pre-let campaign launch, new CGI images and an animation have been released today at MIPIM, showcasing HEMISPHERE by Sciontec, the new £56m, innovation-led, 119,612 sq ft development on Paddington Village, in the heart of the fast growing Knowledge Quarter Liverpool (KQ Liverpool) Innovation District. 

As we all increasingly come back together to work, demand is growing for environmentally friendly workspaces like HEMISPHERE. Smart-tech enabled, with global best practice as standard, HEMISPHERE will provide prime Grade A office space, and will be one of the UK’s first new builds with operational Net-Zero, Platinum WELL, BREEAM Excellent, EPC Rated A, WiredScore certified and NABERS 5.5*.

The building is designed for people who care about making places and the environment better and those that are driven by innovation and inclusivity.

During this week’s MIPIM – the world’s leading real estate market event –  Sciontec also announced that it will provide free sustainability guidance to all of its customers, to help them meet their own targets for operational energy use, as part of a green leasing strategy. This will form part of Liverpool City Council’s 10 post-pandemic pledges to stimulate economic growth, forecasting 800 new jobs and supporting 100 apprenticeships during construction alone.

Colin Sinclair, chief executive of Sciontec and KQ Liverpool, said: 

“We’re proud to be working with Liverpool City Council, with the support of the City Region, to deliver a holistic approach to creating Paddington Village as an inclusive destination for health, life sciences, tech and digital innovation. Nothing encapsulates that vision more than Paddington’s next new building,  the 120,000 sq ft HEMISPHERE.

“HEMISPHERE promises to change the future of work. Operational net zero carbon; designed for people who truly care about the environment, for businesses and agencies who are driven by innovation, inclusivity and wellbeing.

“We are excited to be out at MIPIM as part of the Liverpool City Region delegation showcasing the stunning new visuals for HEMISPHERE, a unique and well connected business location at the heart of Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter.”

Situated next door to The Spine – one of the world’s healthiest buildings – HEMISPHERE will be the first new-build development for Sciontec, the owners of Liverpool Science Park, which is already in conversation with a number of potential prelets.

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, added: 

“Developments like this are befitting of a modern, forward-looking city region like ours. Sciontec’s plans for HEMISPHERE encapsulate much of my vision for the region: harnessing the expertise of our world-class universities in the heart of the Knowledge Quarter, attracting nationwide jobs and housing it all in one of the cleanest, greenest buildings in our region – the first to be operationally net zero.

 “With world leading industry clusters in infectious disease control, materials chemistry, and AI, all on our doorstep, we have a thriving innovation economy. But to keep it growing, it’s vital that we are able to offer businesses the high-tech, sustainable office space they need to flourish and catapult our area to the forefront of UK innovation. HEMISPHERE will help take us there – and I can’t wait to see it start to take shape!”

HEMISPHERE’s striking architecture has been carefully masterminded by AHR Architects to have its own personality, look and feel, with the name representing the two sides of the human brain, where the right side is creative and imaginative, and left is academic and logical.  

Rob Hopkins, director and head of sustainability at AHR, said: 

“Today is a great day in realising the vision that we’ve been working with the Sciontec team on for the last two years, and is testament to the passion that they have to deliver a future proofed, sustainable and dynamic environment at a time when the demand for grade A, innovation-led, office space is growing. 

“HEMISPHERE will be the first new build office development in the Liverpool City Region, designed to be operational net zero carbon, achieving 55kwh/m2 per year, embodying 30% less carbon than a typical office building, 30% less energy consumption, 40% less glazing and 20% more natural ventilation.”

Set across eight floors, HEMISPHERE will be the most cycling commuter friendly workspace in Liverpool city centre, with 166 secure cycle spaces and e-bike charging facilities. Customers can also take advantage of the Paddington Shuttle, cutting the 15 minute walk uphill to Paddington Village, to a five minute bus journey. 

HEMISPHERE will also feature a wellness studio, outdoor workspaces and roof terrace, innovation lab, and multi-purpose event space.

Intentions for the development were first announced in 2021, with support from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, which has already invested £12m into Paddington Village from the Single Investment Fund.

Sciontec is aiming to break ground at the end of 2023, with a completion date in late 2025.

For more information about Sciontec, visit the website and LinkedIn.

Radically changing the way we think about health at work

In this short blog, CEO Colin Sinclair makes the link between health and productivity in the workplace.

Sciontec promises cycling revolution as Hemisphere gets the green light at Paddington Village

Liverpool City Council has today approved the planning application for HEMISPHERE, a new 120,000 sq ft, eight-storey, standout innovative workspace development located on Paddington Village.

Winner of the Paddington Village School Design Challenge Announced

Liverpool City Region student’s design impresses judges thanks to its diverse representation of technology and science.

Launched in late 2021, the Paddington Village School Design Challenge was conceived by KQ Liverpool, dot-art and USP Creative, to engage local secondary school pupils in the Paddington Village development and offer them the chance to be part of the site’s emerging heritage. 

Students were encouraged to get creative by drawing, painting or printing a sculpture design inspired by science and technology, two of the most prominent sectors within the world-leading Knowledge Quarter Liverpool (KQ Liverpool) innovation district. 

Now, a panel of expert judges has named Peyton Boswell from Maghull High School as the winning designer, beating over 100 other students from across Liverpool City Region for the top spot.

Impressed by the variety of content and visual impact of her design, Peyton Boswell’s artwork features an array of dynamic chemistry, biology, space and computer science references.

Explaining the rationale behind her design choices, Peyton said: “I included scientific symbols to show that the Knowledge Quarter will be filled with new science technologies and I think that the bright colours show that it will be a fun and exciting place to work and visit.

“I included an image of the world to show that KQ Liverpool will be world class and I also included a rocket to show that we should all aim high, to reach for the stars!”

Peyton’s winning design will now feature on a new sculpture located at Paddington Village in KQ Liverpool and the student will be credited on a plaque as the designer of the monument. In addition, she will receive a bundle of art supplies and a trophy to acknowledge her achievement, with her school also receiving £500 to put towards art and creative supplies. 

The next phase of the Paddington Village School Design Challenge project will include the commissioning of local artist Brigitte Watkison to transfer the winning design onto the public sculpture.

Rachael Patterson, Competition Judge and Policy and Marketing Manager at KQ Liverpool said: “We were overwhelmed by the level of talent and creativity demonstrated by the young people in our City Region who took part in our competition. 

“There were a number of standout entries however, and we look forward to seeing the winning design transformed onto a sculpture and enjoyed as a piece of art for years to come”. 

In total, over 100 applications were received from Students aged between 11 to 16, who attend educational institutions across the Liverpool City Region, including Archbishop Beck Catholic Sports College, Maghull High School, King David High School and Childwall Abbey School.

Five other students; Alexandra Thwaite, Carrie McKevitt, Isabella Orme, Jessica Williams and Toby White, have been named as Highly Commended runners-up, and will join Peyton Boswell at a special celebration to unveil the sculpture later this year.

Also attending the ceremony will be members of the competition’s judging panel, which included representatives from dot-art, KQ Liverpool, Sciontec, USP Creative and Councillor Barbara Murray, who scored entries based on their design skill, vision and interpretation of the brief.

Lucy Byrne, Competition Judge and Founder of dot-art said: “This design challenge is a great example of partnership working to inspire and champion the next generation of creatives. 

“As a social enterprise supporting local visual artists, we are also delighted to be able to offer an artist the opportunity to bring the design to life.”

Emily Cook, Policy and Research Officer at KQ Liverpool added: “With culture playing such a crucial role in the regeneration of Liverpool City Region, it is key that we continue to nurture our cultural offering across KQ Liverpool through KQ Culture initiatives like this. 

“When it comes to public realm and culture, Paddington Village is an exciting blank canvas and a real opportunity to think not only creatively but also sustainably and inclusively.”

Click on the images below to see the students’ entries.

Getting to know – Novotel Liverpool Paddington Village

We recently caught up with Novotel Liverpool Paddington Village’s General Manager, Howard Lewis, to find out more about the stunning new hotel and what makes it so unique.

Sciontec submit planning for HEMISPHERE

Sciontec Developments Limited (Sciontec) has submitted a planning application for a new, eight-storey standout office development to be located on Paddington Village, in the Knowledge Quarter Liverpool (KQ Liverpool) Innovation District.

Cashplus Bank signs Sciontec deal at The Spine

Fast growing digital bank, Cashplus, to expand operations in Liverpool, as part of Sciontec AI’s largest deal to date.