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Papworth nurses deserve new royal recognition, says director

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The senior nurse at the UK’s leading heart and lung hospital has said nursing staff “really deserve” the royal title being given to the organisation, following their “fantastic contribution” over the years.

It was announced today that Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, the specialist heart and lung hospital in Cambridgeshire, is to receive a royal title after receiving approval from the Queen.

“Our nursing staff have made such a fantastic contribution to Papworth over the years”

Josie Rudman

The title will make it 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 also comes ahead of the trust’s move to a new, state-of-the-art hospital on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus in 2018, which will mark its centenary year.  

Josie Rudman, the trust’s director of nursing, said: “We are all absolutely delighted with this news.

“Our nursing staff have made such a fantastic contribution to Papworth over the years and they really deserve this wonderful recognition,” she told Nursing Times.

“We hope that the royal title will help inspire more nurses to join us and be part of our exciting move to a brand new hospital in Cambridge next year,” she added.

Founded as a tuberculosis colony in 1918, Papworth is now considered one of the leading cardiothoracic hospitals in Europe and treats over 100,000 patients each year from across the UK.

“The royal title is a fitting tribute to the many talented, committed staff members”

Stephen Posey

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.

More recently, 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 such transplants.

Papworth Hospital has received the support of the Royal Family throughout its history.

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 Duchess of Gloucester has been a patron of the hospital since 2003.

The trust will now begin a formal process to rename itself as Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Papworth nurses deserve new royal recognition, says nursing director

Josie Rudman

A ceremony to officially mark the change in name will take place next year as part of the hospital’s centenary celebrations.

Stephen Posey, chief executive Officer of the trust, said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive this honour from Her Majesty 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,” he said.

Professor John Wallwork, a surgeon and chair of the trust, said: “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,” he added.

Next September, the hospital will move to a new, state-of-the-art hospital on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, making it the most advanced cardiothoracic hospital in Europe.

It will sit alongside Cambridge University Hospitals NHs Foundation Trust, Cambridge University, AstraZeneca, the Medical Research Council, Cancer Research UK and Abcam.

The new location will bring huge benefits in terms of patient care and innovation, said the trust.

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