THE GREAT Western Hospital turns 10 next month – and a whole host of events are taking place to mark the milestone.
On December 3, 2002, the hospital moved from its old site off Okus Road, formerly the Princess Margaret Hospital, to where it stands today. Throughout the first week of December, a series of celebrations will be held for staff, patients and the public to get involved with.
On the Monday, a commemorative piece of art will be unveiled by 10-year-old Kelsey Payne, who was one of the very first babies to be cared for at the hospital. The art was created with the help of the community and consists of more than 300 photographs of babies born at the hospital. The collage, in the shape of a number 10, will be unveiled in the ground floor main corridor, before being moved to a permanent position in the new year.
On the same day, the Heroes Awards ceremony will be held for staff who have been nominated by patients or colleagues. It is a national recognition scheme that celebrates unsung heroes of the NHS.
The Great Western Bake Off will be held on December 5, which will see a panel consisting of health reporter Katie Bond, a cup cake professional and the GWH medical director, judging the baking skills of hospital staff. The cakes will be sold from noon in aid of the trust’s Charitable Fund, which is invested in improving patient care.
The hospital’s Christmas tree lights will be switched on during the same day, while on December 6, a time capsule buried on the site in 2005 will be re-opened. New items will be added before it is re-buried.
A charity abseil with more than 50 thrill seekers will be held on the Saturday.
Bruce Laurie, chairman of Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “A decade after we moved from the much-loved, but outdated, PMH to the brand new Great Western Hospital, it still looks as good as new. Every time I enter the hospital I can barely believe how fortunate we are to have such a splendid building.
“While our core NHS values remain, we now provide a much wider range of treatments and services, patients experience a better quality of care and service and we treat many more patients from right across Wiltshire. I am proud of what our hospital has achieved and how far we have come, thanks to our dedicated, caring and compassionate staff.
“As a trust with more than 12,000 members, we are now accountable to the communities we serve and have the autonomy to ensure that our services meet the specific healthcare needs of local people.”