Our new building
The new hospital and research center will be build in Utrecht. This is an ideal location, since we will have both a children's hospital and an adult cancer center close by. Furthermore, the location is centrally located and is easy to reach by car and by public transportation.
The actual building project started at the end of 2015. This will be finalised in 2017 and, after opening this new Center in 2018, care for all childhood cancer patients in The Netherlands will be concentrated within this building. We provide all intensive and complex parts of the treatment, which demands top support for the health care of children with cancer. Examples of this support include a pediatric intensive care unit and a pediatric surgery unit. To keep from having to build these expensive facilities completely anew, the Princess Máxima Center joined with a hospital with all these facilities, the Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital (WKZ). This is one of the reasons why the new hospital will be built next to the WKZ. Also, the WKZ employs all kinds of specialists who support the care in our Center as well, such as pediatric cardiologists, pediatric neurologists etc.
Nearly 100 experts - including medical professionals, pediatric cancer researchers and the parents of children with cancer - have been working together diligently and with great enthusiasm to design the new building for the Princess Máxima Center. In this way, patients and their parents have an active role in judging the quality of the design from a child and family perspective.
A building plan has been created based on a list of demands including the main work processes. An inventory of the required spaces has also been done, including their locations within the buildings, for ensuring the best possible work processes.
There are 5 design principles which can assist the care and development of children with cancer:
- The parents and the child are able to stay close together during the hospitalisation in our Center because of the Parent-Child-Unit.
- We have applied a ‘1-minute rule’ to facilities which favour health care and quality of life. This means, for example, that coffee- and tea facilities and a joined outdoor space are within a 1-minute walk of the Parent-Child-Unit. So parents are able to get to their children quickly if needed.
- The building features plenty of natural daylight and openness through the use of clear sightlines and open spaces between the floors.
- The building provides various open spaces to make sure that the children get enough distraction and exercise.
- The building provides as many age-related facilities as possible so that each child can develop on his/her own.
The construction contracts have been signed in November 2015 and directly afterwards the preparation activities have started. In practise, this means preparing the site: cables are being built, ensuring that material can be brought to the site etc. The first pole will hit the ground in Februari 2016. And around summer the builders will reach the highest point of the building. The next step will be making the building glass and waterproof in Januari 2017. At the end of 2017 the building will be completed so we can start furnishing. Half way through 2018 we will be opening our Center for patients.
From plan to implementation
Building the Princess Máxima Center is an ambitious project with many stakeholders. After careful consideration and extensive consultation, the best possible location has been identified. Subsequently, we have been able to gain the trust of and formal commitment to collaborate intensely with both the University Medical Center Utrecht and the Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital (WKZ).
The Princess Máxima Center began treating the first group of childhood cancer patients, namely children with solid tumors in the abdomen or chest, in October 2014. This care is provided in our own wards within the WKZ in Utrecht. Pediatric oncological care is also provided to all patients in the Central Netherlands region. We introduced our research department early 2016. The construction of the new building of the Princess Máxima Center, next to the WKZ, began in November 2015. We work closely with the WKZ, as well as the University Medical Center Utrecht. It is expected that the new buildings will be completed by late 2017. The Princess Máxima Center will open its doors in the spring of 2018.
Formal commitment from the Dutch Health Care Insurance companies to reimburse childhood cancer care in the new facilitate has been obtained and the contract with the banks has been signed enabling us to establish the new center. Various charitable foundations, including the Stichting Kinderen Kankervrij (KiKa) as the main fundraising partner, have committed their support, in particular to fund the various research programmes in our Center.