Royal Papworth Hospital move to Cambridge will be delayed by a “number of months” due to concerns over cladding

The Royal Papworth Hospital

The Royal Papworth Hospital - Credit: Archant

The Royal Papworth Hospital has today (Wednesday) announced a delay to the opening of its new hospital on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.

The problem is due to the type of insulation material used in the cladding system on the ground and first floor.

The hospital’s construction partner, Skanska, was due to hand over the building to the trust in July. This would have allowed 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 it had used insulation materials that do not meet our original requirements in the lower part of the hospital building.

The trust says it has a “duty to uphold the highest safety standards patients and staff” and the hospital’s board of directors has taken the decision not to accept handover of the building until Skanska had 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.

Most Read

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.”