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Experience counts in critical hospital move

22 July 2010

Patients are moving into Britain’s biggest new hospital as the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB) opens for business. The state-of-the-art £545 million hospital in Edgbaston, in development since 1997 and completed on budget and to schedule, received its first patients in June.

The relocation of patients as well as hospital equipment was itself a year in the planning. Harrow Green, the specialist relocation services provider, project managed the carefully orchestrated move of more than 40,000 pieces of equipment from the old Queen Elizabeth and Selly Oak hospital units without disruption to patient care.

Harrow Green supported the largest and speediest transfer of patient moves to date in the UK. Over a three day period Harrow Green, in conjunction with West Midlands Ambulance Service and to a timetable set by the hospital, transferred the wards and support services of 415 inpatients from Selly Oak Hospital, with on average one patient being moved every five minutes. ‘On exceptional projects like this, we need to plan meticulously and build in every possible contingency to minimise risk,’ says David Gray, Harrow Green’s senior on site project manager and a healthcare sector specialist. ‘There is no scope for error.’

In total Harrow Green carried out 1,900 separate moves, ranging from full departments and wards to individual offices, in nine days during June. ‘After moving over 6,000 crates in 440 vehicle loads, working over weekends and evenings, including A&E overnight, the Harrow Green team rightly feels proud of our role in helping to move healthcare in Birmingham to new levels,’ added David Gray.

‘I have spoken to many people over the course of the move,’ says Julie Moore, Chief Executive, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, ‘and they have all commented on the supremely professional and friendly service from Harrow Green staff. We have a few more phases of the move to go, but I am confident that these will proceed as smoothly as the first did.’

 About the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham

QEHB has 1,213 beds and will be the largest single critical care unit in Europe. It will serve as a major trauma centre for the West Midlands and as a centre of excellence for burns, cancer treatment and transplants. The hospital will also be the primary treatment receiving centre for Britain’s injured military personnel.

The new hospital will be opened in stages, with the first stage completed in June 2010 when all inpatients moved from Selly Oak. Subsequent moves will involve the transfer of remaining services from Selly Oak, and inpatients from the old Queen Elizabeth.

About Harrow Green

Harrow Green has an extensive track record for critical hospital moves, which includes major projects for the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children and Glasgow’s two new £100 million hospitals, Stobhill and the New Victoria. For QEHB Harrow Green provided a full project management and commercial relocation service that included patient and staff moves, theatres and labs, fragile, critical and secure material, the storage and distribution of new medical equipment and IT relocation support services.

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