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27 June 2018

New Royal Papworth Hospital opening delayed

Royal Papworth Hospital has announced a delay to the opening of its new hospital on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.

The hospital’s construction partner, Skanska, was due to hand over the building to the Trust in July. This would allow the Trust two months to train staff and complete its equipping programme before opening the new building to patients in September.

In recent weeks, both Skanska and an independent tester have been checking the building to ensure it meets the specifications set out in the original contract.

During this period, Skanska informed the Trust that they have used insulation materials that do not meet our original requirements in the lower part of the hospital building.

As an NHS Trust, we have a duty to uphold the highest safety standards for our patients and staff. As a result, Royal Papworth Hospital’s Board of Directors has taken the decision not to accept handover of the building until Skanska has completed remedial work in accordance with the Trust’s original requirements. This will cause a delay to the opening of the hospital.

The hospital is currently awaiting confirmation from Skanska with regards to how long this remedial work will take, but early indications suggest it will take a number of months. 

Stephen Posey, Chief Executive at Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are extremely disappointed that we will not be able to open our new hospital in September as planned. Our staff have been working extremely hard to prepare for the move, and it is incredibly frustrating to discover a problem with the building at this late stage. However, we must ensure that our new building meets our original requirements.
“We do not underestimate the impact that this news will have on our staff. Providing clear information and support to them will be a priority for us over the coming weeks. In the months ahead, we will continue to focus on providing high quality services to our patients on our current site. We remain committed to the vision of the new hospital and the benefits it will bring to our staff and patients for many years to come.”

Changes to the opening date for the new Royal Papworth Hospital - Information for patients and the public

What does this delay mean for me as a patient?
We would like to reassure our patients that we will continue providing all of our services on our current site in Papworth Everard until we move to the new hospital. We are committed to continuing to deliver the same excellent patient experience and outcomes on our current site.

When will you now move to the new hospital?
We are currently awaiting confirmation from the construction company building the new hospital, Skanska, with regards to how long it will take them to complete the remedial work needed. However, early indications suggest it will take a number of months. We will inform patients as soon as we have a new date for the move.

I know you were planning to sell your current hospital site ahead of the move. What will happen now?
We will need to sell our current site in Papworth Everard ahead of our move to the new hospital. We had made good progress with the land sale but it had not yet been agreed. There will need to be some renegotiation with the potential purchaser but we do not expect the new timings to have a significant impact on the sale.