What are the challenges of hospital relocation?


Most hospital buildings will undergo refurbishment, or even a complete rebuild at some point in their lifecycle. Facilities inevitably become outdated and unsuitable for the latest equipment, buildings too small for their growing needs or unable to meet the latest standards of healthcare.

Large redevelopment or relocation projects can be rather daunting, particularly if it’s the first time for those involved. The following are the main challenges of hospital moves, and how they can be addressed:

Ensuring patients’ comfort

Moving or relocating a hospital can be an uncomfortable experience for patients, especially the elderly, disabled or otherwise vulnerable, as their environment moves and changes around them.

Pickfords Business Solutions’ staff have the experience, resources and training necessary to work in sensitive environments. All relevant staff are DBS cleared for your peace of mind.

Overcoming the complexity

Hospital moves can be highly complex, with the unique requirements of many different departments to consider; patients, equipment, furniture, filing, IT and telephony must all be planned and accounted for within a set timeframe.

Key areas such as A&E, maternity wards, operating theatres and ICU have a clinical imperative to remain operational at all times, so timing is important to ensure these services can be offered in at least one location at any one time.

Following careful preparation and planning, Pickfords will create a comprehensive move plan to allocate resources and schedule move periods effectively and efficiently, ensuring the smoothest possible execution.

Pickfords’ national resources allow us the flexibility to keep removal crews on standby to accommodate for any last-minute schedule changes or unforeseen circumstances.

Keeping departments operational

During a move, you’ll want to keep as many departments open as possible for as long as possible, especially A&E.

Pickfords will work with hospital staff to create a solid move schedule to ensure little to no interruption of service delivery, particularly for emergency departments.

Moving drugs and chemicals

Medical drugs and chemicals require expert care during transportation to eliminate the possibility of any accidents, particularly in a sensitive hospital environment with vulnerable patients at risk of exposure.

Certain chemicals also require temperature control, as well as security to protect against theft.

Pickfords liaises with hospital staff to ensure all drugs and chemicals to be moved are known and carefully inventoried, working with specialist partners with the expertise and equipment to transport each chemical and ensure any potential risks during the move are eliminated.

Moving specialist equipment

Most hospitals have specialist equipment that must be moved with the utmost care, such as laboratory equipment, cold storage units, heavy machinery and specialist IT equipment.

Pickfords has the experience and expertise to fully project manage the decommission, relocation and re-commission of a wide range of specialist medical equipment and machinery, working with hospital staff to ensure a safe environment and clear paths for access and egress while transporting such items.

Pickfords’ national network of storage facilities means that equipment can be safely contained and stored for any length of time during a hospital move or refurbishment.

Pickfords has a wealth of experience moving hospitals and healthcare facilities, working closely with staff to ensure an expertly planned and executed move, suited to their needs. To find out more about moving your facility, contact Pickfords Business Solutions on 0845 130 6559 or solutions@pickfords.com or visit our website.

The challenges of IT relocation

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IT systems are the lifeblood of any modern company, so ensuring the successful relocation of your systems is vital for the continued running of your business throughout your office move.

With this in mind, what are the main challenges during an IT relocation, and how can they be addressed?

Overcoming the complexity

Where do you start when planning an IT relocation? IT infrastructures are often incredibly complex, so it can be a daunting prospect to undertake one as part of an office move.

Server centres especially are highly technical to move and require specialist knowledge of the technology, combined with expertise in business relocation.

Pickfords carefully plan IT relocation projects before a single item is moved, creating an execution and layout plan based on your existing setup and any changes that need to be made, e.g. to rationalise any redundant equipment.

Handling delicate equipment

Incorrect handling of vital IT equipment can disrupt your business and lead to down time, lost data, or the need to replace expensive hardware.

Infrastructure moves need to be planned in detail to minimise downtime and avoid losing data. All delicate equipment should be packed carefully to prevent damage.

In addition to the execution and layout plan, Pickfords offers businesses the option of a virtual server to back up your essential date before your physical server is powered down, safeguarding your data and ensuring business continuity.

Pickfords’ ensure the safe transit of your systems using specially designed packing materials and n air-ride suspension vehicles to ensure the safe transit of your systems.

Minimising disruption and downtime

During an office move, your customers will rightly expect continuity of your business, regardless of the status of your IT systems.

Our experts will plan the phasing and reconnection of your IT and telecoms in line with your departmental and business needs, ensuring all your data is backed up and your systems continue to be operational throughout the transition.

Keeping your workplace safe

The safety of your employees should be the first priority of any office move. How do you ensure a safe working environment while large pieces of hardware and countless metres of cabling are being moved between offices?

Work to ridged health and safety guidelines, Pickfords carry out carefully planned cable management to eliminate potential hazards while moving, executing a phased move plan to ensure the efficient transfer of all hardware.

Your office move is also an ideal time to review your electrical equipment and have PAT Tests carried out.

Pickfords can arrange for your equipment to be PAT Tested to ensure it is compliant with health and safety regulations and that it functions safely prior to your relocation.

Reduce, reuse, recycle – staying green during your office move

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Whether you’re a large multi-national or a growing start-up, research shows that communicating a strong CSR message is an absolute must for any modern business.

Customers and clients want to see organisations being environmentally responsible in all their business activities, and partnering with companies who will do the same.

If your business is planning to dispose of furniture, filing, IT or other equipment as part of an office move or refurbishment, you will also be affected by environmental legislation to dispose of such waste safely and environmentally.

Failure to support the legislation could result in poor publicity, fines or even prosecution under the Environmental Protection Act.

So what are your options?

Audit your assets

Before you move, have an audit carried out to verify the condition of your unwanted assets; this will help you understand how each item can be recycled.

You can also arrange asset tracking at this point so the end-point of each asset can be accurately reported to your stakeholders.

Ask your removal company if it can provide an integrated environmental recycling and reuse service.  Pickfords provides a service which can be integrated at the time of your office move

Sell your unwanted furniture

Any assets that still have a reuse value can be sold into the local marketplace. Your removal company may offer to share the profits of this service with you.

Donate your unwanted furniture

Re-usable assets can be donated to local organisations such as schools, charities or community projects.

Pickfords frequently work with the British Heart Foundation to help raise money for vital research through furniture recycling.


Assets not fit for reuse can be dismantled and segregated into component parts (metal, wood and plastic) so they can be recycled at local centres.

Pickfords is a licensed waste carrier with a national network of regional environmental hubs to effectively manage the recycling and reuse of company assets both locally and nationally. Click here to find out how Pickfords can help you meet your environmental targets through asset recycling.

How to manage an office downsize

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With the growth of home-working, hot-desking and virtual offices, more and more companies are choosing to consolidate their office space, both as a cost-saving exercise and as part of a shift in corporate culture as technology increasingly allows employees to carry out their work using remote digital environments, without the need to be physically present at their office.

Downsizing can improve a company’s efficiency and, ultimately, its bottom line, but will inevitably present its own set of challenges.

Keep your employees informed
If your company persues an office downsize, it’s important that the situation is managed carefully. Even if the physical downsize isn’t the result of economic challenges, staff may feel nervous, leading to rumours and assumptions that moving to a smaller office means the company is in trouble and therefore their jobs may be in jeopardy. Such anxiety can lead to increased stress levels and reduced productivity, and even potentially employees looking for jobs elsewhere.

In this situation, communication is key. Don’t keep your employees in the dark; create a communication plan, detailing your key messages and the positive reasons behind the change.  Explain to your staff as early as possible why the downsize is happening, focusing on the positives that affect them, such as increased flexibility, efficiency and remote working. Encourage opportunities for two way discussion so they feel their questions are being heard.

Whether your downsize involves consolidating your existing office space or moving into a new building, consider how this will affect your employees and give them plenty of notice, particularly if a new building means additional commuting time for some.

Make the most of your new space
When preparing for an office downsize, it’s important to carry out a detailed space plan to help you save money in unnecessary rental of redundant office space while identifying any under-utilised areas and maximising the space you intend to use.

Pickfords Business Solutions offers a detailed space planning and interior design service to help you best utilise your office space for the needs of your business.

Carefully plan your IT
Getting your new infrastructure right is vital to ensure minimal disruption to business operations during an office downsize, particularly if upgrading or installing a new virtual office environment.

To help you manage a potentially complex IT relocation, Pickfords Business Solutions works with your IT supplier or internal department to ensure a seamless infrastructure move, including disconnection and reconnection services, server and data relocation, network patching and auditing services, portable appliance testing and cable management.

Consider storage as an option
While planning an office downsize, you may find it necessary to store certain furniture, equipment or filing, either as a temporary solution between office moves or a longer-term option to save on the costs of property rental.

Pickfords Business Solutions has a national network of storage centres for any length or size of business storage.

Meet your CSR objectives
Consolidating your office space normally results in an excess of furniture and IT equipment. Use this opportunity to meet your CSR targets by opting for environmental disposal of your unwanted goods, which can help raise thousands of pounds for local charities and causes while proving a cost effective alternative to landfill.

Pickfords awarded ‘Superbrand’ status

Pickfords has once again been voted a Business Superbrand by Superbrands UK, an independent research programme which identifies the UK’s strongest brands as voted by an expert council.


The Superbrand survey, now in its 20th year, defines a Superbrand as having established “the finest reputation in its field”, and is deemed to offer “significant emotional and/or tangible advantages over other brands, which customers want and recognise.”

With a 400-year history, Pickfords is a long-established brand; one that is synonymous with moving. Pickfords is unusual among historic brands in that it still bears the name of its founder.

Pickfords has consistently been voted Superbrand status since the programme’s inception in 1995, and is the only removal company to feature in the 2015 Superbrand list.

Pickfords and College of Policing raise £13,000 for British Heart Foundation

A big thank-you to College of Policing for helping Pickfords raise up to £13,670 for British Heart Foundation from over 270 items of furniture donated during the College’s recent office relocation.

College of Policing appointed Pickfords Business Solutions to move and environmentally dispose of various office equipment and furniture from multiple office sites, in the process of relocating to a new building in Sunningdale, Berkshire.

Household appliances and furniture were donated to British Heart Foundation, totalling 276 items, to help fund pioneering research in the fight against heart disease.

A portion of the remaining furniture was donated to LAM Action for remodelling, gym and canteen equipment was donated to Office Clearances for reuse by a school in Senegal, and the office furniture donated to the Hook Village Halls charity. Any remaining items were recycled.


Meeting the challenges of relocating your team overseas

iStock_000010361595_Medium (2)Sending employees overseas can be a great opportunity for both your employees and the business: employees get to experience a fresh start in a new country with expanded professional horizons, while the employer stands to grow their business in new international markets.

As an employer, there are a number of things you will need to consider when sending employees abroad:

Employee preparation

For long-term or permanent relocations, encourage your chosen employees to visit the country for pleasure before making the moving for work; this can be a great way for them to get familiar with the country, culture and everyday situations.

Make sure permanent travel plans are only made once everything in the employee’s old life is sorted and in place.

In order to get the best results and outcome for the relocation, it is important that the person you choose is travelling light and ready to get fully involved in all aspects of your expanded business in their new country of residence.

Potential challenges overseas

Unfamiliarity with the local legal processes and requirements is often a sticking point for anyone acclimatising to living in a different country. There may be certain rules regarding registration, obtaining an ID card, registering a vehicle, etc, that are doubled in confusion if you have to communicate in another language too. Providing additional assistance and expert advice on the ground will help staff settle in without any dramas.

Living miles away from familiar faces can cause feelings of isolation, so it’s important to ensure settlement includes all aspects of normal life. Integration into the community takes a little time and effort; employees may need advice and assistance in establishing  a social support network.

One of the hardest things to come to terms with when relocating is missing family and friends back home; but you can help employees by arranging low-cost travel options and encouraging them to download low-cost or free communication applications to their devices, such as Skype or WhatsApp.

If you are considering relocating some of your team overseas, Pickfords can help. We offer a range of international services for those looking to relocate overseas.

Pickfords’ recycling and reuse service raises £15,500 for the British Heart Foundation

BHF_Retail - Thank You Posters_A4 (2014) Pickfords 2Pickfords Business Solutions and its clients have together raised £15,500 for the British Heart Foundation (BHF) by donating used office furniture.

Pickfords offers corporate clients a recycling and reuse service to dispose of their old desks, cabinets, chairs and other furniture when they refurbish or move office. Pickfords has worked closely with BHF since 2013 to donate much of this furniture to its retail division, to be re-sold in its high-street shops to raise vital funds for life saving CPR equipment and training.

Since working with BHF, Pickfords Business Solutions has undertaken major projects with a number of clients, including Schneider and A4e, providing a furniture recycling service from which the majority of furniture was donated to BHF.

Katie Murphy, Pickfords’ Head of Environmental Reuse said:

“I feel truly privileged to assist the British Heart Foundation and proud of the fantastic relationship we have. Thank you to all our clients who kindly donated their furniture for this worthy cause.”

Mike Taylor, BHF’s Retail Director, said,

“On behalf of the British Heart Foundation I would like to thank you most sincerely for your support of our fast and free collection service over the past year.

This is the second year that the British Heart Foundation has worked with Pickfords and we are delighted that so far £15,500 has been raised through client removals.

Please pass on our most heartfelt thanks to everyone at Pickfords.”

How to ensure the successful relocation of your company’s IT systems

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Moving business premises is never easy, is it?

There’s just so much to remember, and at the same time it’s important to try and maintain your professional profile, availability and company image.

If your company prides itself on being available 24/7, transferring your IT systems is one of the most crucial challenges. It’s a complex process, and a successful transfer can be vital to the continued success of your business.

As with anything important, relocating your company’s IT systems takes very careful planning, and you’ll need to know that your move is going to be proactively managed rather than reactively supported.

Create a Business Continuity Plan

The earlier you start planning your office relocation, the greater chance you have of making sure your business is not disrupted too much during the move.

This is especially important when installing new telephone and ISDN lines that have fixed lead times. Conduct a risk analysis before the move and make sure your business is not left without essential connectivity.

Ensure all your equipment is safely and securely shut down, relocated, and up–and-running again as soon as you need it to be. Make sure it’s also restorable in the event of delays or failed network connections.

If there is cabling in your new building, it might not be fitted to a suitable standard. Moving is a great opportunity to upgrade your IT systems, so have a look into this in the months before.

Phone lines also need careful consideration. Check what speed of broadband is available and that your new premises have a sufficient power supply. Again, this is where forward planning is key; use the move as an opportunity to shop around for the best phone providers or packages and order telephone connections as soon as possible.

Why not take the opportunity to assess your current setup, too? Consider: how many lines and handsets do you need? Can you keep your current phone numbers? Do you need voicemail or a call answering service? How will you let people know about your new numbers?

Finally, it’s always best to get the experts in for any relocation so you can rest assured that everything will go smoothly.

Pickfords’ IT relocation experts will work with your internal department or appointed supplier to ensure a seamless move and minimise the disruption and downtime of your business.

Our team begin the process by compiling user data information and testing your systems prior to disconnection. They then plan the phasing of the re-connection of your IT and telecoms equipment in line with your departmental and business needs too.

Pickfords Business Moving also has packing materials that have been specially designed for IT relocation projects to ensure the safe transit of your systems.

Other services include:

  • PC disconnection and re-connection services
  • Server and data storage relocations
  • Network patching and auditing services
  • Portable appliance testing
  • Cable management

It’s vital that your business doesn’t suffer just because you’re moving premises. With Pickfords, you can rest assured that your company or business relocation is in safe hands from start to finish.