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11 May 2018

Film documenting Royal Papworth Hospital's era-defining move to get cinema premiere

To view the trailer and find out more about screenings, click here

A new Heritage Lottery-funded film documenting Royal Papworth Hospital’s final year at its village site - as staff and patients prepare for the momentous move to the Cambridge Biomedical Campus – will be screened at a Cambridge cinema in the summer.

Papworth: A Moving Story blends archive footage with contemporary staff, patient and supporter interviews, tracing the hospital’s evolution from a First World War tuberculosis colony to a leading cardiothoracic centre which performed the UK’s first successful heart transplant operation in 1979, and the world’s first heart, lung and liver transplant in 1986.

The screening, part of the heart and lung hospital’s centenary celebrations, will take place at the Cambridge Arts Picturehouse on Thursday 5 July – the same day the country will be celebrating the NHS’ 70th birthday. The film will be followed by a Q&A session with a number of contributors.

Filmed on location in Papworth and the site of the new hospital ahead of its opening, the documentary offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse at how a major NHS hospital is run and prepares for such a historic move. In addition, the film preserves the memories of those who have worked at the hospital and those who have been treated there; a strong sense of belonging and family is at the heart of the ethos of Royal Papworth Hospital and this film is a testament to that.

The film has been made possible by National Lottery players through a £88,900 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), and after support from Royal Papworth Hospital Charity.

Archive film and stills have been sourced from a number of institutions including the East Anglian Film Archive, the British Film Institute and Royal Papworth Hospital’s own archive which includes footage which has never before been publically seen.

Robyn Llewellyn, Head of HLF East of England, said: “As the NHS marks its 70th anniversary and Royal Papworth Hospital celebrates its centenary and gets ready for a major move, this National Lottery funded film is sharing a century of medical achievements and personal stories – many for the very first time.”

Becky Proctor, Royal Papworth Hospital’s Heritage Officer, said: “The support from the HLF has enabled us to create this documentary with local film makers Kip Loades and Cambridge Filmworks to mark our centenary year.  Our HLF award has also paid for the digitisation of archive film held in the hospital archive, revealing long forgotten footage of the hospital and its staff from the 1960s. Viewers can now see early heart surgery at Papworth using the “ice bath technique” in colour for the first time. It has been an incredibly exciting project to work on.”

2018 is a big year for Royal Papworth Hospital as it celebrates 100 years since the first patients arrived for TB treatment, the move to the new hospital and also, joins in the national celebrations which mark 70 years since the National Health Service was founded.

There will also be two free screenings of Papworth: A Moving Story, open to members of the public, in Papworth Village Hall on Saturday 21 July, and the hospital is in discussions with a number of local cinemas about holding additional screenings later in the year.

Tickets for the Cambridge Arts Picturehouse screening will go on sale on 16 May on the Picturehouse website.