Celebrating 100 years of Haslemere Hospital: Historic staff photo recreated to mark centenary

Celebrating 100 years of Haslemere Hospital: Historic staff photo recreated to mark centenary

The Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust has celebrated the centenary of Haslemere Community Hospital with a recreation of a historic staff photograph.

To mark the hospital’s 100th anniversary, the Trust invited colleagues to help them recreate a staff picture from 1923.

The then and now images will form part of the ongoing archive of the hospital at Church Lane, Haslemere.

Historical photograph of the staff of the newly opened Haslemere Hospital in 1923 (Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust )

Chief Executive, Louise Stead, said: “Haslemere Hospital undoubtedly has a rich history and is deeply rooted in the lives of many people.

“Looking back at images over the last hundred years gives us a fascinating snapshot of how healthcare is changing and the advances that have been made.

“Haslemere Hospital has changed and evolved and is now an integral part of the Royal Surrey family, valued by the local community.

“This new staff image will become an important part of the story of Haslemere Hospital and will help people in the future to understand our present.”

The history of the hospital dates back to 1898 when a local soldier had an unfortunate bicycle accident and required emergency treatment.

There was nowhere close by to get help and this prompted Haslemere residents to ask for their own facility.

A tiny four bed “Cottage Hospital” was built off the road in Shepherd’s Hill and served the local community for the next 25 years.

The city grew out of this hospital and a new modern building was proposed.

The land of the recreation site was donated by local people, raising £35,000 to build the hospital we know today.

It was officially opened on 20 January 1923 by the then Conservative Lord Chancellor, Viscount Cave.

In 1948 the hospital came under government control with the formation of the NHS and became part of the Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust in 2018.

Today Haslemere Hospital has 16 inpatient rehabilitation beds and is home to a busy minor injuries unit which has an X-ray unit and is currently open seven days a week. It also holds numerous ambulances.

It envisages nurses, healthcare assistants, physical therapists and occupational therapists working with GPs to ensure patients with frail and complex needs receive the care they need close to home.

As part of the centenary celebrations, Haslemere Hospital’s League of Friends sponsored a visual timeline of key milestones in the hospital’s history, which was displayed in the patients’ waiting room and assisted in decorating the hospital.

To mark the official birthday, which took place on January 20th, the league also hosted a small tea party for staff and patients. It was also attended by some former employees who shared photos and memories with the current team.

Rose Parry, Chair of the Haslemere Hospital League of Friends, added: “We are delighted to be working with the Royal Surrey team to celebrate this historic milestone.

“We intend to host a larger event later in the spring where we can celebrate the contribution Haslemere Hospital has made to our community over the last hundred years.”

Cottage hospitals were established in rural areas in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to provide basic medical care and emergency services to communities far from larger cities, usually built and operated by local communities.

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