Queen Victoria Hospital

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Queen Victoria Hospital
Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Queen Victoria Hospital - geograph.org.uk - 56997.jpg
Queen Victoria Hospital
Queen Victoria Hospital is located in West Sussex
Queen Victoria Hospital
Location in West Sussex
LocationEast Grinstead, West Sussex, England, United Kingdom
Coordinates51°08′07″N 0°00′05″E / 51.135278°N 0.001389°E / 51.135278; 0.001389Coordinates: 51°08′07″N 0°00′05″E / 51.135278°N 0.001389°E / 51.135278; 0.001389
Care systemPublic NHS
Hospital typeSpecialist and Foundation Trust
Emergency departmentMinor Injuries Unit
ListsHospitals in England

The Queen Victoria Hospital (QVH), located in East Grinstead, West Sussex, England is the specialist reconstructive surgery centre for the south east of England, and also provides services at clinics across the region. It has become world-famous for its pioneering burns and plastic surgery. The hospital was named after Queen Victoria. It is managed by the Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.


Archibald McIndoe operating at East Grinstead: a painting by Anna Zinkeisen, 1944

Founded as East Grinstead Cottage Hospital in 1863, the hospital adopted the name, "Queen Victoria Hospital", in the 1930s and moved to its present site in 1936.[1]

During the Second World War, it developed as a specialist burns unit under the leadership of Sir Archibald McIndoe, and became world-famous for pioneering treatment of RAF and allied aircrew who were badly burned or crushed and required reconstructive plastic surgery.[2] It was where the Guinea Pig Club was formed in 1941, as a social club and support network for the aircrew and their family members. The club continued to provide assistance for Guinea Pigs for many years after the war, and met regularly in East Grinstead until 2007. The Queen Victoria Hospital remains at the forefront of specialist care today, and is renowned for its burns treatment facilities and expertise throughout England.[3]

In recent years a major programme of site developments has been underway to replace the ageing estate. In 2012, a new outpatients department opened, along with refurbished burns and paediatric units. Six new operating theatres were opened by the Princess Royal in October 2013.[4]


The hospital is the regional centre of excellence for burns and for reconstructive surgery – the use of specialist techniques such as tissue transplant and microvascular surgery in the restoration of people who have suffered disfigurement or destructive damage from disease, trauma, major surgery, or congenitally. Specialist units that carry out these services include:

  • Burns Centre: The QVH Burns Centre provides specialist burns care treatment for people living in the South East of England. The hospital was involved in controversy in August 2007 when it turned away an 8-month-old burn victim arriving by air ambulance.[5] The row was finally resolved with both sides agreeing to disagree over the issue.[6] In conjunction with the Kent Police, a young woman who was seriously burned by a firework and treated at Queen Victoria Hospital has made a video telling her story to help other young people understand the dangers that fireworks present.[7] The paediatrics burns inpatient service was closed in 2019.[8]
  • Plastic Surgery Unit: The hospital is a major centre for Plastic Surgery. Hand surgery is also performed at the hospital. Videos of complex hand operations have been shared on YouTube by Mr Harry Belcher, a consultant hand surgeon at the hospital.[14] A man had his arm successfully reattached in a 14-hour operation by surgeons at Queen Victoria Hospital, after he accidentally cut it off with a 'chainsaw'.[15] After the operation he regained use of his fingers.[16][17]
  • Therapies Department: The Therapies Department support the rehabilitation of patients undergoing specialist treatment at the hospital. It also provides a wide range of services for the local community, including physiotherapy, back pain clinics, speech and language therapy, weight management clinics and Parkinson's groups. The department is also part of the first and largest multidisciplinary expert facial palsy team, treating palsy and paralysis patients from across the country.[19]

In July 2012, the hospital produced a short film about its services: the Queen Victoria Hospital Short Film 2012.[20]


As the regional specialist centre for reconstructive surgery following trauma, Queen Victoria Hospital (QVH) has a well-established telemedicine referral system. In 2008 the service won the regional Innovation and Communications Technology Award and the QVH telemedicine system was also chosen to form part of the Institute of Engineering & Technology's 2008 Faraday Lecture on the overall theme of engineering in health and has been included in a documentary.[21]


In the national cancer patient survey for 2011/12, the hospital achieved the highest score for care quality out of all 160 hospital trusts providing cancer services. Ninety-four per cent of cancer patients surveyed rated the care they received at QVH as 'excellent' or 'very good'.[22]

In the national NHS inpatient survey for 2011, the hospital achieved the highest scores in the country for 27 of the 61 questions asked, including 'Overall, how would you rate the care you received?'.[23]

In the 2011 national NHS staff survey, 94% of doctors and nurses said they would recommend their hospital to friends and family, more than at any other hospital in the country.[24]

In 2011, it was found to be the most recommended NHS hospital in the country by the independent Dr Foster Hospital Guide.[25]

It was named by the Health Service Journal as one of the top hundred NHS trusts to work for in 2015. At that time it had 817 full-time equivalent staff and a sickness absence rate of 3.58%. 91% of staff recommend it as a place for treatment and 74% recommended it as a place to work.[26]

In 2018/9 it faced a £5.9 million deficit, around 10% of its turnover, and needed to borrow money to pay its bills.[27] It forecasts deficits of around £7 million, roughly 10% of its turnover, each year from 2019 to 2023. [28]

Transport links[edit]

Local bus services are provided by Metrobus. The following routes pass the hospital:[29]

  • Route 281: an hourly service which links QVH to the town centre and station, Worsted Farm, Imberhorne, Felbridge, Crawley Down, Copthorne, Three Bridges, Crawley, Lingfield and Dormansland
  • Route 400: an hourly service which links QVH to the town centre, Felbridge, Copthorne, Three Bridges, Crawley, Horley, East Surrey Hospital, Redhill, Godstone and Caterham

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Our heritage". Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  2. ^ de Quetteville, Harry (30 May 2014). "The pioneering surgeon who healed men scarred by war, a new monument created in his honour – and the remarkable twist of fate that links them". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 31 May 2014.
  3. ^ E. J. Dennison (30 June 1996). A Cottage Hospital Grows Up. ISBN 0-9520933-9-1.
  4. ^ "Princess Royal opens Queen Victoria Hospital theatres". BBC. 17 October 2013. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  5. ^ "Row after burn unit refuses baby". BBC News. 8 August 2007. Retrieved 8 August 2007.
  6. ^ "Health trusts settle baby dispute". BBC News. 30 August 2007. Retrieved 30 August 2007.
  7. ^ "Fireworks safety – Helene's story". YouTube. 29 October 2008. Retrieved 10 February 2009.
  8. ^ "Trust to close specialist children's service". Health Service Journal. 2 July 2019. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  9. ^ "The Forgotten Story of Benjamin Rycroft". East Grinstead Museum. 12 October 2017. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  10. ^ "Stem cells used for eye disorder". BBC News. 15 March 2007. Retrieved 3 February 2009.
  11. ^ Lister, Sam (29 April 2005). "Pioneering stem-cell surgery restores sight". The Times. London. Retrieved 3 February 2009.
  12. ^ Sheraz M. Daya; et al. (March 2005). "Outcomes and DNA analysis of ex vivo expanded stem cell allograft for ocular surface reconstruction". Ophthalmology. 112 (3): 470–477. doi:10.1016/j.ophtha.2004.09.023. PMID 15745776.
  13. ^ Nigel Hawkes (19 May 2008). "Filters prevent blindness of eyes that won't open". The Times. London. Retrieved 29 January 2009.
  14. ^ Mr Harry Belcher. "'Harry the Hand' surgery videos" (video). YouTube. Retrieved 30 January 2009.
  15. ^ "Man lost arm in chainsaw accident". BBC News. 30 September 2008. Retrieved 29 January 2009.
  16. ^ "Chopped arm man can use fingers". BBC News. 29 December 2008. Retrieved 30 January 2009.
  17. ^ "I want to tie my own shoelaces". BBC News. 9 February 2009. Retrieved 10 February 2009.
  18. ^ "Crawley dog attack survivor meets Dog Borstal expert". Crawley Observer. 15 September 2008. Retrieved 2 February 2009.
  19. ^ "Facial palsy first". Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. 5 December 2007.
  20. ^ "Queen Victoria Hospital Short Film 2012". Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  21. ^ "Remote Operations". 1 October 2007.
  22. ^ "National Cancer Patient Experience Programme 2011/12 Survey" (PDF). August 2012.
  23. ^ "Survey of adult inpatients". Care Quality Commission.
  24. ^ "Doctors don't trust their own hospitals". The Daily Telegraph. 20 March 2013.
  25. ^ "Inside your hospital" (PDF). Dr Foster Hospital Guide 2001-2011. November 2011.
  26. ^ "HSJ reveals the best places to work in 2015". Health Service Journal. 7 July 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  27. ^ "Trust faces deficit of nearly a tenth of turnover". Health Service Journal. 13 March 2019. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  28. ^ "Trust predicts 10pc deficit for at least next four years". Health Service Journal. 18 November 2019. Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  29. ^ "Public transport". Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Retrieved 8 September 2018.

External links[edit]