Cast study: Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust - Pathology laboratory


Wallsall Healthcare NHS Trust provides local general hospital and community services to around 260,000 people in Walsall and the surrounding areas. The Trust is the only provider of NHS acute care in Walsall, providing services to inpatients and outpatients at the Manor Hospital.


  • Migration from existing to new hospital accommodation, all on the same site.
  • Moving a wide range of technical equipment, including large -80O freezers and the contents of four -20O walk-in cold stores.
  • Adherence to critical timings to allow clearance of vacated buildings and subsequent demolition.
  • Overcoming logistical challenges, including relocating laboratories from an access point shared with the main outpatients department, to an area open to the public throughout the move, en-route to the adjacent Accident and Emergency department.
  • Disposal of unwanted furniture and equipment

Solution and result:

  • Planning of a multi-phase move in adherence to critical timings.
  • Pre-agreement of loading and unloading points to ensure minimal disruption.
  • Marshalling of Pickfords vehicles to ensure blue light traffic was not compromised.
  • Carrying out regular team meetings with Pickfords and Trust staff to carefully formulate the move plan, ensuring complete coordination of the various departments according to a realistic programme.
  • Producing detailed move methodologies to: 
  • Ensure that equipment was clean and safe to handle, decontaminated and certificated as necessary.
  • Confirm the procedures to relocate chemicals, refrigerated and frozen items, samples and specimens.
  • Agree the equipment decommissioning procedures, whether in-house by the users or by specialist contractors.
  • Agree the protective wrapping measures.

Phase 1

  • Some Pathology stores, followed the next day by Bacteriology, Microbiology and part of Pathology were moved initially.
  • 194 crates, 19 roll cages were used to move 50 PCs and numerous items of technical equipment, much requiring the attendance of specialist contractors.

Phase 2

Moving the remaining Pathology stores, followed by a weekend move of:

  • Biochemistry, requiring 220 crates and 28 roll cages; moving 80 PCs.
  • Blood Bank and Laboratory, requiring 200 crates and 10 roll cages, 34 PCs moved.
  • Anticoagulation and the remaining Pathology, accounting for 102 crates and 12 roll cages, moving 22 PCs and numerous items of technical equipment, much requiring the attendance of specialist contractors.

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