Papworth Hospital to receive royal recognition to mark centenary year

Papworth Hospital

Papworth Hospital - Credit: Archant

The Queen has approved a new royal title for Papworth Hospital.

Royal Papworth Hospital will be the first royal hospital in the East of England, in recognition of its pioneering history and continued commitment to developing the treatments of the future.

The name change comes ahead of the specialist heart and lung hospital’s move to a new, state-of-the-art site on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus in 2018, which will also be its centenary year.

Stephen Posey, chief executive at Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive this honour from the Queen at such an exciting time in our history. The royal title is a fitting tribute to the many talented, committed staff members who have made Papworth what it is today, and I hope it will inspire more people to join us and be part of our future.

“We have a busy year ahead as we prepare to move into our new hospital and we look forward to celebrating this news properly as part of our centenary celebrations in 2018.”

Papworth Hospital is one of the leading cardiothoracic hospitals in Europe, treating more than 100,000 patients each year from across the UK.

Founded as a tuberculosis colony in 1918, the hospital became famous for pioneering a series of firsts in heart and lung medicine, including the UK’s first successful heart transplant in 1979 and the world’s first successful heart, lung and liver transplant in 1986.

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And in 2015, Papworth doctors were the first in Europe to successfully perform a heart transplant using a non-beating heart. The hospital has so far carried out 31 transplants using non-beating donor hearts, increasing its heart transplant rate by over a third.

Professor John Wallwork, chairman at Papworth Hospital Foundation Trust, said: “As a surgeon who worked at Papworth for more than 30 years, I am thrilled to see the hospital get this recognition from the Queen. Papworth is a truly special place where we strive to deliver the treatments of tomorrow to the patients of today. We have big plans for our future on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus and our new royal title will be a wonderful way to mark the next chapter in our story.”

In September 2018, the hospital will move to the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. Designed by clinicians to meet the needs of today’s patients, the hospital will be the most advanced cardiothoracic hospital in Europe. The hospital’s new location – alongside Cambridge University Hospitals, the University of Cambridge, AstraZeneca, the Medical Research Council, Cancer Research UK and Abcam – will bring benefits in terms of patient care and innovation.

Papworth Hospital has received the support of the British Royal Family throughout its history and has counted the Duchess of Gloucester as patron since 2003. In 1918, a visit from Queen Mary and Princess Mary marked the first of more than 20 royal visits to date, with the hospital welcoming the Queen to Papworth in 1962. Most recently, in June 2016, Prince Harry invited a team from Papworth to Kensington Palace to collect an Invictus Games gold medal donated by US soldier and athlete Elizabeth Marks, who credits the hospital with saving her life.

The trust will now begin a formal process to rename the hospital Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. A ceremony to officially mark the change in name will take place next year as part of the hospital’s centenary celebrations.