Opening of the new multi-million pound Royal Papworth Hospital is delayed due to safety fears
- Credit: Archant
The opening of the new £165m Royal Papworth Hospital will be delayed due to safety fears over the building’s cladding, it has been announced today.
The Cambridge Biomedical Campus site was due to be handed over to the NHS trust next month before welcoming its first patients in September.
But hospital bosses said this morning that it would be pushed back after discovering combustible insulation had been used in the building’s ground and first-floor cladding.
Construction company Skanska recently told the Royal Papworth NHS Foundation Trust that tests on the building had discovered insulation material did “not meet our original requirements in the lower part of the hospital building”.
In a statement issued by the Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, they say that they are currently awaiting confirmation from Skanska to how long the remedial work will take, but early indications suggest it will be a “number of months”.
Stephen Posey, chief executive, 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.
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“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.”
The hospital is famous for its pioneering heart and lung surgeries and became Royal Papworth on January 1 after being given the royal title by the Queen.
The UK’s first successful heart transplant was carried out in the hospital in 1979.