Skegness Hospital celebrates its centenary

Skegness Hospital (source: Google Images)

Skegness Hospital (source: Google Images)

by Jeremy Peters

A historic Lincolnshire hospital celebrated its centenary this year with two fun filled events for staff, patients, supporters and the local community.

Skegness Hospital, which is owned by NHS Property Services, commemorated the 100 year milestone with a summer gala which was held in the grounds of the hospital and black tie ball, which featured live music from The Sensational Soul Band and a grand prize draw. As well as being a celebration, the events raised more than £1,250 for several good causes.

The town has benefitted from having such a vital health facility on its doorstep for the past century thanks to three local doctors – AW Allan, Benjamin Sweeten and Stanley Wallace. They first came up with the idea of providing a separate hospital for Skegness and district around 1907 but it wasn’t until a public meeting was held in 1911 that the idea started to become a reality.

Six months after the public meeting the foundation stone was laid by Her Highness Princess Marie Louise of Schleswig-Holstein and in 1913 the Countess of Scarborough officially opened the hospital which cost £1,450 to build.

When it opened the hospital had a number of facilities including three wards, a bathroom, small operating theatre, sterilising room, matron’s room, kitchens and offices on the ground floor and three bedrooms for the matron, nurses and servant on the first floor along with a bathroom and store room. However, demand for its services quickly grew and within a year a new wing was built to provide another ward and a mortuary.

In 1921 hot water and radiators were installed in the public wards and further developments followed – a porter’s lodge, a larger operating theatre and an x-ray department. In 1939, an extension of a new 12 bed-ward, three private wards, an up-to-date maternity block and additional staff quarters were opened by Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Gloucester.

The hospital transferred to the state to become part of the NHS on 5 July 1948. It has been owned by NHS Property Services since 1 April 2013.

John Harness, NHS Property Services Local Area Team Co-ordinator for Leicestershire and Lincolnshire, said: “This is a historic landmark in the town and much loved by all those who use and access local health services within it. The black tie ball and summer gala were a nice way for staff, patients, supporters and people living in the town, to mark its centenary and raise funds for some worthwhile causes.”

Today the hospital is home to a number of vital local NHS services including an Urgent Care Centre, Lincolnshire’s lymphoedema service and the Skegness and Coast Community Response and Rehabilitation team. It also has two wards, palliative care beds, an outpatients department, and a medical rehabilitation unit.