Home | News & Insights | 2023 | Cambridge Ahead welcomes Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to its membership

Cambridge Ahead welcomes Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to its membership


Cambridge, UK. 18th  September 2023: Cambridge Ahead, the business and academic membership organisation committed to the sustainable and inclusive growth of Cambridge over the long-term, is delighted to welcome Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust as its newest member.

Royal Papworth Hospital brings world-leading expertise and insight that will support Cambridge Ahead’s focus on quality of life as the guiding principle to help shape the city’s future.

The Trust is the UK’s leading heart and lung hospital, with more than 120,000 patient episodes each year. Further to an inspection carried out in 2019, the Trust is currently rated 'outstanding' by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).  It became the first hospital Trust in the country to receive the top rating of 'outstanding' in each of the five main domains that the CQC assesses – safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led.

Founded as a tuberculosis colony in 1918, Royal Papworth Hospital has established an international reputation for excellence in research and innovation, including carrying out the UK’s first successful heart transplant in 1979.

In 2017, the hospital was granted Royal status by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of its commitment to excellence in cardiothoracic care and in May 2019 it moved to a state-of-the-art building on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.

Eilish Midlane, Chief executive of Royal Papworth Hospital said: “We are thrilled to be joining Cambridge Ahead and aligning with its purpose to be a catalyst for the success of Cambridge and quality of life. 

“We treat patients with heart or lung diseases across the East of England and nationally.  Although our reach is beyond Cambridge, this city is our home and we are deeply passionate about how healthcare underpins so much of society.

“To deliver that world-class care, it’s important we have truly affordable housing that supports sustainable staffing.

“We are looking forward to collaborating with academia and businesses to give healthcare a voice in the success of this city and its people.”

Founded a decade ago on the idea that better evidence leads to better decision making, Cambridge Ahead’s core mission is to be a catalyst for sustainable and inclusive economic growth. To this end, the organisation undertakes research with partners such as the University of Cambridge, Anglia Ruskin University and RAND Europe, across a number of wide-ranging issues to inform future decision making.

Cambridge Ahead’s research topics include the quality of careers advice in schools, the affordable housing needs of young people, post-pandemic changes to working practices, and – at the heart of its efforts – a better fundamental understanding of what is happening on the ground in our economy.

Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust joins an internationally diverse membership totalling 51 large-scale and influential employers that have a long-term interest in Cambridge as a thriving city. Representing a working population of approximately 45,000, membership is broad, and includes organisations from a number of industry sectors including life sciences, technology, transport, education, property, and professional services. Organisations that are members of Cambridge Ahead share a common and active commitment to the long-term success of the city, and can identify with the challenges that are being experienced today. Challenges like access to affordable housing, public and active travel provision, education, and vocational training that sets local people up to access good jobs in Cambridge’s high-value sectors.

Dan Thorp, CEO, Cambridge Ahead, said: “It is so powerful how the national health service and life sciences companies co-locate and collaborate in Cambridge, not least on Cambridge Biomedical Campus. This clustering accelerates medical breakthroughs and drives innovation that improves the health of the global population across future generations. Having organisations such as Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust as part of the Cambridge ecosystem brings with it unique employment opportunities across our local community, whilst also directly supporting the health of many tens of thousands of people a year.”

“I am delighted to welcome the Trust to Cambridge Ahead and believe that this offers us an exceptional viewpoint from which to better understand the opportunities and challenges faced by the NHS, the interactions between the NHS and life sciences research, and enables us to more accurately and actively understand this sector when helping to shape future plans for Cambridge.”


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