Royal Surrey celebrates 150th Birthday

RSCH Birthday_2Royal Surrey County Hospital today celebrated its 150th birthday with staff and patients by delving into the archives.

The hospital first opened its doors on April 27, 1866, after Queen Victoria agreed for ‘royal’ to be added to its name in memory of her late husband, Prince Albert.

From a 60 bed hospital, which saw just 248 inpatients, 1,580 outpatients and carried out 12 operations in its first year the Royal Surrey has grown into the 500 bed district general hospital and specialist cancer centre we know today.

Today the Trust sees somewhere in the region of 336,000 outpatients, admits 90,000 for treatment and its Accident and Emergency department sees 73,000 patients every year.

The idea of a general hospital which would serve the whole county of Surrey was first discussed in January 1862.

RSCH Birthday_3The hospital’s original site in the Farnham Road, which is now home to the Farnham Road Hospital, was donated by Lord Onslow after an appeal was launched to fund the ambitious project.

Architect Edward Ward Lower was then drafted in and with the assistance of Florence Nightingale plans for the 60 bed hospital were drawn up.

The foundation stones were laid just over a year later and the first staff appointed, which included a resident surgeon, a matron and four nurses.

The hospital remained at the Farnham Road site for just over 113 years before moving to its current home on Egerton Road.

Chief Executive Peter Dunt said: “This is a momentous milestone for the Royal Surrey County Hospital.

RSCH Birthday_1“From a small hospital with just 60 beds in 1866, we now provide district general hospital services to a population of 330,000 people in Guildford and the surrounding area.

“While healthcare has changed dramatically over the last 150 years the one thing has remained steadfast at the Royal Surrey is our dedicated, caring and compassionate staff.

“They continue to put our patients at the heart of everything we do and are committed to continually improving our treatments, service and facilities so that we can achieve the best outcomes for all who come through our doors.

“Here’s to the next 150 years and a bigger and even brighter future for the Trust, as it continues to lead the way in patient care.”

©2017 Royal Surrey County Hospital

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