Royal Berkshire Hospital
|Royal Berkshire Hospital|
|Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust|
Royal Berkshire Hospital frontage
|Location||Reading, United Kingdom|
|Care system||Public NHS|
|Emergency department||Yes Accident & Emergency|
|Lists||Hospitals in the United Kingdom|
The Royal Berkshire Hospital is a National Health Service hospital in the town of Reading in the English county of Berkshire. It provides acute hospital services to the residents of the western and central portions of Berkshire, and is managed by the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust.
The hospital provides 813 inpatient beds (627 acute, 66 paediatrics and 120 maternity), together with 204 day beds and spaces. In doing so, it employs over 4,000 staff and has an annual budget of £228 million.
The Royal Berkshire Hospital was opened in 1839 on the London Road on land donated by Henry Addington, 1st Viscount Sidmouth, a local resident and former Prime Minister. The hospital was built by local architect and builder Henry Briant, who won the design competition. King William IV took a keen interest in the hospital before it was built, and as a consequence his arms appear on the central pediment, although he died before the hospital opened. The first patron of the hospital was William's niece and successor, Queen Victoria.
In the 1860s, the original building was extended with east and west wings designed by Joseph Morris. In the 1880s, a new chapel was added to the rear of the main block, together with long side wings. Both chapel and side wings were also designed by Morris.
In 1931, the famous fighter pilot Douglas Bader had both legs amputated in the hospital by the surgeon Leonard Joyce, after an aircrash at Woodley Aerodrome. The hospital features in the film Reach for the Sky, where these events are depicted.
On 24 February 2006, The Queen accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh opened the new buildings of the Royal Berkshire Hospital. This was to celebrate the completion of an eight year project to move the Battle Hospital services onto the Royal Berkshire Hospital site. In August of the same year, the Royal Berkshire and Battle Hospitals NHS Trust became an NHS Foundation Trust under the name of Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, reflecting both its new status and the closure of Battle Hospital.
In 2008, the hospital was awarded 'Excellent' for its use of resources and 'Good' for the quality of its services in the Healthcare Commission's annual health check of all the hospitals within the National Health Service. The accident and emergency department is consistently one of the most efficient in the country, with more than 99% of patients being seen and treated, admitted or discharged within four hours.
In August 2010, it was reported that the number of jobs in the hospital would be reduced by 600, out of a total of around 4000, in order to achieve a saving of £60 million.
The hospital occupies a long thin site, running gently uphill from London Road to Addington Road, and flanked by Craven Road and Redlands Road. The buildings that house the hospital are of various ages, from the original building of 1839 to the latest ward block built in 2006. Despite the various ages and styles of building, almost all of the hospital's departments are accessible from a single indoor pedestrian route that runs the length of the site. The original entrance on London Road still exists, but the main entrance is now situated in Craven Road, roughly at the midpoint of this route.
The original building of 1839, together with the wings added in the 1860s, are now listed grade II* by English Heritage. They are built of Bath Stone with slate roofs, and the main building comprises 2 storeys and a basement. The frontage has 11 bays, with the central 7 bays forming a projecting pedimented hexastyle portico with Ionic columns.
Amongst the buildings within the hospital complex is the old laundry, built in 1881. This now houses the museum of the Berkshire Medical Heritage Centre, which contains 3000 artefacts relating to medicine, surgery, nursing, midwifery, pharmacy and dentistry. Some of the exhibits date back to the 17th century.
- "About the Trust - Royal Berkshire Hospital". Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust. Archived from the original on 2008-04-11. Retrieved 2007-11-22.
- "Images of England - Main Block and Flanking Wings at Royal Berkshire Hospital". English Heritage. Retrieved 2007-11-26.
- "History - Royal Berkshire Hospital". Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust. Archived from the original on 2008-05-31. Retrieved 2007-11-22.
- Brookes, Andrew. Crash! Military Aircraft Disasters, Accidents and Incidents. London: Ian Allen Ltd., 1991, p. 36. ISBN 0-7110-1965-7.
- English Monarchs at englishmonarchs.co.uk, accessed 4 January 2011
- "Queen inspects £132m NHS makeover". BBC News. 2006-02-24. Retrieved 2007-11-22.
- "Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust wins praise in national health check". Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust. Retrieved 2008-10-26.
- "Total Time in A&E data files". Department of Health. Retrieved 2008-10-26.
- "Royal Berkshire Hospital to axe up to 600 jobs". BBC. 2010-08-05. Retrieved 2010-08-05.
- "National recognition for medical museum". Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust. Retrieved 2007-11-22.[dead link]
- "Berkshire Medical Heritage Centre". Berkshire Medical Heritage Centre. Retrieved 2007-11-22.
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