The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Children’s Hospital operating theatre in line for international engineering award

9 September 2019

A cutting edge operating theatre facility at Leeds Children’s Hospital is in line for a prestigious international engineering award and the public are being asked to give it their vote.

The Children’s MRI and cardiac hybrid suite was officially opened in March 2019 by HRH Sophie the Countess of Wessex. It houses both a state-of-the-art 3TMRI scanner for use in brain tumour surgery, and a cardiac catheter suite which provides life-saving care for children and young people with congenital heart disease.

The unique four-storey extension was built to a complex specification, adjoining to existing operating theatres whilst still allowing for car parking and access on the road below. Its steel construction consists of eight columns and a main core which support the facility independently of the Clarendon Wing which it backs on to.

Structural engineers Mott MacDonald submitted the building for an Institution of Civil Engineering (ICE) Award due to the complexity of the build and the team’s expertise in overcoming challenges such as ensuring the stability of the extension against wind and people movement (footfall vibration). This is to ensure that during highly delicate, life-saving surgeries, no movement or vibration can be felt by the operating teams. Chartered Structural Engineer and project lead for Mott MacDonald, Colin Riches says: “The ICE is the oldest professional engineering institution in the world and it’s therefore fantastic for us, the Trust and the city that the project has been shortlisted in the People’s Choice Awards, a prize that recognises the best civil engineering projects in the world.”

Mr John Goodden, Neurosurgeon at Leeds Teaching Hospitals says: “Our new facility is a magnificent feat of engineering and unlike any other operating facility I’ve seen in the NHS. Some of the procedures we undertake in the building are highly delicate and the need for reduced noise levels and stability within the building is paramount. The team worked incredibly hard to ensure our specification was met so that we can continue to provide the safest care for the most vulnerable children.

“I urge everyone to vote in the ICE People’s Choice Award and give this special building the recognition it deserves!”

The ICE People’s Choice Award celebrates and recognises the best civil engineering projects, ones that have made a positive impact on their local area and communities. Voting opens to the public from Monday 9 September and all those who vote will be entered into a free prize draw. More details about the award and how to vote for the Leeds Children’s Hospital project can be found at

The facility was made possible thanks to the generous donations of patients, their families, and the public through Children’s Heart Surgery Fund and Leeds Cares.