The history of Peterborough hospitals

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As the NHS celebrates its 60th birthday on July 5th, Hannah Gray looks at the history of hospitals in the Peterborough area.

As the NHS celebrates its 60th birthday on July 5th, Hannah Gray looks at the history of hospitals in the Peterborough area.The memorial hospital in Peterborough opened in 1928 at the site now occupied by Peterborough District Hospital (PDH).

It replaced the infirmary, now the museum in Priestgate.

A separate hospital at Fengate was used to treat infectious cases.

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As the NHS celebrates its 60th birthday on July 5th, Hannah Gray chats to a long-serving surgeon about the changes he has seen. 4 July 2008

A glimpse behind the scenes at Peterborough District Hospital

Hundreds of visitors took a rare opportunity to look behind the scenes at Peterborough District Hospital as it celebrated the 60th anniversary of the National Health Service. 9 July 2008

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Before the foundation of the NHS in 1948, all hospitals were run on a voluntary or cooperative basis, which meant money had to be donated and raised.

When the memorial hospital opened it had six wards in three blocks: separate male and female surgical and medical wards, a male accident ward and a children's ward. It had 150 beds, two operating theatres, a radiology department, a small casualty department, and outpatients, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy departments.

The private ward, which had eight beds, was in a different area.

By the end of the Second World War the memorial hospital was too small to cater for Peterborough's patients and it was decided that a new hospital was needed.

The memorial hospital closed in 1968 and PDH opened.

PDH now has 357 beds, five operating theatres, an accident and emergency department, nine outpatients clinics and an intensive care unit.

The maternity unit, which delivers around 3,600 babies per year, has 62 beds and two operating theatres.

Other services include radiology and pathology, an eight-bed intensive care unit, an endoscopy suite, a dental and ophthalmology wing, plus a theatre, a three-room ultrasound department, a 30-bed stroke unit, a 38-bed children's ward, a gynaecology department with an early pregnancy assessment facility, and an active rehabilitation department, with a hydrotherapy pool and two gymnasiums.

In 1988 Edith Cavell Hospital in Bretton was opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The hospital was built to complement the services provided elsewhere in the city. It cost

20 million to build and it has 153 beds. The hospital has 12 wards including isolation, medicine for the elderly, general surgical and orthopaedic.

Other services at the hospital include the urology service, adult and paediatric, ears, nose and throat (ENT), outpatients, day surgery, five operating theatres, radiology, breast imaging unit and the angiography suite.

The next stage of the history of the NHS in Peterborough sees a massive 335 million investment in the city.

The first phase of a new mental health unit, called the New Gloucester Unit, is due to open late this year, and the second phase in May 2009.

A new 612-bed acute hospital, Peterborough City Hospital, built on the Edith Cavell Hospital site, is due to open in late 2010.

A City Care Centre, run by Peterborough Primary Care Trust, will be built on the site of the Fenland Wing at Peterborough District Hospital and will open in 2009.