papworth hospital

Royal Papworth Hospital


Over its 100 year history, the Royal Papworth Hospital added buildings to its ever expanding campus and eventually outgrew its facility. In 2019, a new modern hospital was commissioned on the existing Cambridge Biomedical Campus.

Client Requirements

The Trust needed to move the hospital 16 miles down the road, including its operating theatres, cath labs, servers and IT equipment and critical care wards.

The deadline for the project was critical and it was a requirement that the hospital be open to continue planned heart and lung operations.

The old hospital was a warren of narrow corridors and wards,  which presented access and logistical challenges to Pickfords’ removal teams.


Taking eighteen months to plan, the project manager created a meticulous plan which took into account the inter-dependencies of departments and included risk assessments and contingencies. 

Prior to the move, the hospital began reducing patient numbers and moving small groups, with staff, to the new campus in what was described as a “military grade maneuver”.

Pickfords deployed seven trucks each day, with each one, making two shuttle journeys between hospitals per day.  

Over 100,000 cubic feet of items were moved and it took 400 separate working shifts to complete the move over the two week project.   

175 hospital beds were transferred, 302 metal cages of equipment and 2,426 bar-coded crates were used.

The equipment in Papworth’s Hospital’s Critical Care wards had to be carefully moved and placed into position so the theatre and ward staff could test them to ensure the hospital could be fully operational when required.


Following the relocation, Royal Papworth Hospital was fully operational by the planned deadline and the first operations took place on the first day of opening.


  “Royal Papworth is our crown jewel, we had to move our culture as well as our wards and equipment. The move was so well worked out, everybody’s worked so hard, the move has gone very smoothly”.

       - Chairman of NHS Royal Papworth Hospital, Professor John Wallwork

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