Hospitals and Health Centres
Making care the centre of attention.
Foundations for a healthy future have been laid with the plans for a new state-of-the-art care centre in Gateshead. The 5 million pound scheme involves building a new health centre and a block of retirement flats in Whickham. Development will take place around the existing Whickham Cottage Hospital site in Rectory lane. In the first phase the 18th century listed building will be converted to a primary care centre.
Once work is complete by next Christmas, the existing health centre will be demolished and replaced with 58 specialised retirement flats. Detailed discussions on the scheme have been going on for some time between Gateshead Health NHS Trust, Gateshead and South Tyneside Health Authority, the Whickham practice and retirement housebuilders McCarthy and Stone.
Gateshead Health NHS Trust chief executive Chris Reed said: "This is an excellent example of a partnership working together to improve facilities for the local community." "Although Whickham Health Centre has served the community well for many years this new facility will allow the challenges and demands of primary healthcare in the 21st century to be met." Mike Dowse, land director of McCarthy and Stone North West, said the scheme will have a range of benefits for the community. "The advantages of a new health centre are obvious and the retirement development next door will have the effect of bringing increased trade to local businesses and freeing up family houses for younger buyers." Work will be phased so there will be no disruption to service from the Whickham practice. Dr. Graeme Oliver, senior partner at Whickham Health Centre, said: "The partners and staff here are delighted that we will now have the building to enable the provision of modern services to the community while retaining our traditional family practice values."
Reference. Richards, L. Making care the centre of attention. The Evening Chronicle (Gateshead), 13 November 2000.
Florence Wood's Memories of her father in Dunston Hill Hospital
In 1935 my Father was sent to Dunston Hill Hospital. He had been wounded in France and it was thought they would find something to relieve the pain and inflammation. My mother visited him there every week. There were many men in the hospital who lived there all their lives as they had nowhere else to go. Some had relatives, but because they were badly wounded or shell shocked, the relatives would not have them back. All the men wore blue suits in the hospital. After a few months he returned home but wasn't much better, so he was sent back in l937. Again my mother visited him every week, and on one memorable occasion took we three children with her. I remember the train journey to Newcastle and then a bus from Marlborough Crescent to Whickham. We were made a great fuss of by the men as they rarely saw children. One very cheerful man had had his legs amputated at the knees and he could move faster on his stumps than most of the other men on their feet. He would jump from the floor to his bed and then jump from bed to bed around the ward. He had a wonderful spirit and kept the ward entertained with his antics and jokes. Again my father returned home after a few months but never returned to the hospital because of the Second World War. He died in 1958 aged 64, which was quite a long life considering his health and experiences. He and my mother were married 35 years but she was a widow for 45 years as she lived until she was 101 years old.
The old wooden huts now stand empty. There is a new brick built NHS hospital catering for physiotherapy and a hospice ward.
Dunston Hill (The Pensions) Hospital.
Dunston Hill Hospital (known at one time as the "Pensions Hospital) had many casualties from the First and Second World Wars. Unfortunately this was the place where many would spend the rest of their lives. These old soldiers still wore their distinctive blue suits which clearly marked them out right up until the 1950s.
Reports from Dr. Andrew Smith, Medical Officer of Health.
1900 Sanitary Requirements
1. All slaughter houses to be registered.
2. An isolation hospital should be erected as soon as possible.
1908 The main drainage scheme has been completed by the inclusion of Whaggs Lane, Cornmoor Road, Millfield Road, Sunniside and part of Marley Hill. It has now been decided to connect up the remainder of Marley Hill. Byermoor is still drained by open ditches.
Slaughter houses still remain unregistered but are subject to regular inspections.
The Cottage Hospital
In 1920/21 the Rectory was vacated. Lady Clementine Waring, the wife of Major Waring who was Member of Parliament for Blaydon, opened the building as a Cottage Hospital in 1922.
Nurses having a break at
the Cottage Hospital - 1920s?
Can anyone help with
the actual date?
In spite of the efforts of the people of Whickham, who fought against the closure and raised money to install a lift, the Cottage Hospital closed in 1985.
In 1986 it opened as Chase Park School.