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Moving medical laboratory equipment – dos and don’ts

9th July 2018

Moving medical laboratory equipment is often necessary – whether you’re running a pathology lab in a hospital or carrying out cutting-edge research in a specialist facility. There are certain do’s and don’ts to observe when planning a laboratory equipment move – here we share four key tips to help you ensure that your relocation runs as smoothly as possible.

DO ensure that everyone is informed and involved

Your staff are going to need to be on board for this – and their support will be essential as you organise a move, whether you’re swapping out an old model for a new one or overseeing a complete refit. Consult everybody first and keep them informed of your plans well in advance. Find a way for everyone to be involved – whether they’re helping to maintain the status quo or actively assisting in the move.

DO work with staff members’ individual strengths

Identify who might be able to help with what and assign tasks accordingly. If you’re in a hospital environment, will the move impact on patients? If so, one or more members of lab staff should be involved in minimising and mitigating that impact. If outsourcing is required to fill in the gaps in service during the move who will manage this and properly brief partner labs? Work as much within your immediate team before then enlisting additional support from professionals with specific experience moving medical laboratory equipment.  

DON’T try to do it yourself

Medical equipment is sensitive, specialist and overall incredibly expensive. Asking staff to move it or trying to arrange a team yourself could end in disaster – which often impacts on and delays service delivery since replacements can be hard to find. Breakages, spills and errors with timing and delivery can often affect in-house moves – so guard against disruption by arranging specialist assistance.

DON’T forget about decommissioning/relocation/recalibrate

When planning in timescales and provision for your upcoming move, don’t forget to consider how long it will take to decommission, relocate and recalibrate the equipment. Specialist OEMS will likely be required for this stage too – and they will need to be booked in advance. Consult experts on each piece of equipment to ensure that accurate provision and timescales are in place.  

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“We have very positive feedback from the end users regarding all the crews involved in the move. Indeed at a steering group meeting this week one of the senior scientist not only praised the move teams but also requested if the same teams could be used for the move into the CL2 building next year.”

The Pirbright Institute

“The Johnsons team worked well with our own internal project team to make the overall move a success. The main phase went without any significant issues, and this was a testament to the close management and supervision of the Johnsons team at both sites during the 3 days of the move.”

Mark Garrod, Redx Pharma

“We have a good working relationship and specifically use Johnsons as they are competitive, always turn up on time with the correct number of operatives, and their removal team is always courteous which matters especially when patients and our staff are affected.”

David Shepherd, Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

“Johnsons Laboratory Logistics have been providing relocation services to us for a number of years now. They are competitive, reliable and trustworthy.”

Iain Ramsey, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust

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