New-look Queen Mary's Hospital celebrates 100th anniversary after £30million development works
PUBLISHED: 11:06 12 September 2017 | UPDATED: 11:06 12 September 2017
The hospital first opened to provide pioneering plastic surgery on First World War veterans
A century of history and £30million worth of redevelopment were on show on Saturday as Queen Mary’s Hospital threw open its doors to the public.
Built to provide pioneering plastic surgery to wounded veterans of the First World War, a century on the Sidcup hospital has undergone a makeover of its own.
With the arrival of landmark cancer and kidney treatment centres in the spring, the hospital has moved its urgent care centre to the front of the building and built it’s own specialist children’s centre, Acorns, with more refurbishment expected to get underway this year.
Visitors were treated to guided tours of the hospital’s theatres as well as the new Guy’s Cancer centre and the kidney treatment centre, both run by Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, to provide care closer to home for Bexley, Bromley and north Kent patients.
Old Bexley and Sidcup MP James Brokenshire was at the event, and unveiled a new plaque to celebrate the hospital’s anniversary and redevelopment.
A century ago the hospital was a mass of pre-fabricated buildings, treating wounded veterans returning from abroad with severe facial injuries, running as The Queen’s Hospital.
Dr Andrew Bamji, a retired former consultant at the hospital, signed copies of his book, Faces from the Front, at the event, which tells the story of Sir Harold Gillies’ work to perform some of the world’s first plastic surgery on soldier’s whose faces were often badly damaged in the trenches.
On Saturday a blue bench was unveiled, inspired by the same coloured furniture used by patients as a place to sit undisturbed after facing the horrors of war and recover from their injuries.
By 1925 the site on the grounds of Frognal House had become an out-hospital for London County Council, five years later it was renamed Queen Mary’s Hospital and with the end of the Second World War, it became a district general hospital serving local patients.
James Brokenshire said: “It was great to be able to celebrate Queen Mary’s past, present and future and to recognise the hard work of the NHS staff that have made this happen.
“I have been a consistent campaigner for our local hospital and after all of the years of work by so many people, I am so delighted to see the modern new NHS facilities available locally - including state of the art cancer and kidney treatment centres.
“As the hospital marks its centenary Queen Mary’s can look forward to a bright and positive future.”