inside the future sch1/mcccc

Construction of the Sydney Children's Hospital Stage 1 and Minderoo Children's Comprehensive Cancer Centre (SCH1/MCCCC) building is progressing rapidly, and reached full height in April 2024.

The new healthcare and research building will offer expanded paediatric services, including a larger Emergency Department, a new medical short-stay unit, a new Children’s Intensive Care Unit across two pods, a neurosciences centre and Australia's first combined cancer centre – the Minderoo Children's Comprehensive Cancer Centre.

Here's an insight into which services and facilities each floor will be home to on construction completion in 2025, starting with the underground levels... 

Level B2:
The lower basement level will house the hospital and MCCCC's external loading dock, emergency vehicle access for the Emergency Department on B1 and a car park, which will include a limited number of short-term emergency vehicle parking and spaces for families. Internally, B2 will be home to the kitchen facilities for patient food services and general service provision for patient beds, linen, cleaning and waste services. The MCCCC laboratories will also have support spaces for bulk consumables and deliveries, gas and waste holds. The floor will include a paediatric viewing room for families, prior to transfer for funeral arrangements.    

Level B1:
The second basement level will be home to the new Emergency Department (ED), which will span 4,100 square metres – three times the size of the current ED. The ED will include a contemporary waiting area and flexible, family-friendly spaces to facilitate private conversations. The floor will consist of ED short stay, an ambulatory zone, a resuscitation zone, and an ambulance bay. Education and research will be embedded into the department, including simulation training. The Virtual Care and Hospital Command Centre will also be featured on this floor, providing clinical support closer to home and extending the hospital's outreach to the community.  

Level 0:
This will be the hospital's reception area and 'Front of House' – the first space that staff and visitors will encounter on entry to the hospital. The entrance and forecourt plaza will be a welcoming, dynamic space for visitors, combining intuitive wayfinding, admissions and check-in, retail, an indoor and outdoor Aboriginal Gathering Place, a new playground, and a dedicated pet area. The MCCCC Arrival Lounge will be located directly outside the MCCCC Public Laboratory and will be used for community and media engagement and internal education for all MCCCC staff and students. The new lobby space will be technologically enabled, with a Discovery Centre, wireless device charging stations, interactive wayfinding, a multi-purpose entertainment area for performances and movie displays, and a range of lounge and hub seating for families and large groups to meet.

Level 1:
The new Children's Intensive Care Unit (CICU) will be housed on this level, equipped with technologically enhanced spaces to optimise patient care. Patients will be cared for across two pods, including isolation rooms. The unit will boast single-patient bedrooms with carer zones, providing families with privacy and comfortable amenities while ensuring visibility for clinicians. The floor will also feature an outdoor terrace with a medical services panel to give ventilated patients access to fresh air and green space. A biomedical workroom will ensure that lifesaving equipment is maintained, tested and available immediately, and a dedicated simulation space will support staff education activities. A clinical link bridge between SCH1/MCCCC and the Prince of Wales Hospital Acute Services Building (ASB) will connect the CICU with the ASB operating theatres.

Level 2:
This level will be home to the new general pharmacy, which will feature a dedicated paediatric and oncology pharmacy with a consult room to facilitate medication support and education. The pharmacy space will include future-proofing for a pharmacy robot, along with aseptic, biological and cytotoxic suites. Level 2 will also accommodate flexible workspaces, staff collaboration areas and meeting rooms for hospital staff. There will be two external link bridges on this level – one connecting to the existing children's hospital building and the other to the adjacent UNSW Health Translation Hub (HTH) building.

Level 3:
Level 3 will house the first floor of Minderoo Children's Comprehensive Cancer Centre (MCCCC) research laboratories, along with workspaces for staff and access to the HTH link bridge, enabling seamless physical and working integration between the hospital, research centre and UNSW. The Medical Short Stay Unit (MSSU) will also be based on this level, supporting acute patients with an expected length of stay under 72 hours. Starlight Children's Foundation's 'Starlight Room' will be established on this floor and include a performance area, outdoor terrace, kitchen facilities and technology to broadcast directly to the bedside.    

Level 4:
This floor is dedicated entirely to the MCCCC,  bringing clinicians and researchers together in one space to accelerate innovation and support  bench-to-bedside treatment. Within Level 4, staff and students will have access to laboratories, workspaces and a communal room called 'The Heart' – a dedicated kitchen/common area for the MCCCC, including an outdoor terrace. A direct connection to the MCCCC workspace in the Health Translation Hub will also be available via a link bridge from this level. 

Level 5:
This level of the building will be home to another MCCCC research laboratory, along with shared multi-disciplinary workspaces, and specialist and open laboratories. Day Oncology will also be on this floor, including open and enclosed treatment spaces, consulting rooms, procedure rooms and a dedicated apheresis zone. The oncology unit will also be supported by playrooms, waiting areas and a parent lounge to enhance the patient and family experience.   

Level 6:
The Oncology Inpatient Units will feature on this level, with the new wards boasting single rooms and a separate carer space. The units will include areas for occupational therapy, play therapy and quiet study, along with dedicated adolescent spaces, parent lounges, kitchens and laundry facilities. The floor will also feature an Infusionarium, where patients can receive treatment while immersed and distracted by virtual reality and video games. Level 6 will also house a Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, with specialised rooms for immunocompromised patients. 

Level 7:
New inpatient facilities for babies and toddlers requiring medical and surgical stays will be located on this level, along with children's and adolescents' medical and surgical inpatient spaces, including recreation, family rooms and amenities.  The facilities will focus on integrated, multi-specialty care, allowing clinical teams to collaborate in solving medical problems. The floor will also feature a purpose-built diagnostic and assessment unit with monitoring and reporting technology for sleep-related disorders.  

Level 8:
This level will be home to the Neurosciences Comprehensive Care and Research Centre and rehabilitation beds. The Centre will provide care for patients living with neurological and neurosurgical conditions, and trauma-related presentations. In addition, the Centre will have a dedicated telemetry hub for diagnosing and monitoring seizure-related disorders. The floor will combine inpatient and clinical services with pioneering research spaces.

Level 9:
Essentially the building’s engine room, this level will be a dedicated plant space for mechanical engineering functions including air conditioning cooling towers and equipment, water heating and cooling, and fire hydrant tanks, supporting modern engineering technology. Level 9 will also be topped by a concrete roof fitted with solar power technology to supplement mains power, in line with the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network's commitment to delivering a sustainable building.

Published April 2024