Chalfonts and Gerrards Cross Hospital League of Friends
About The League of Friends
The First 25 Years
The Chalfonts and Gerrards Cross Cottage Hospital was established in 1871 (opened 19 June 1871) on a site given by J.N. Hibbert of Chalfont Park. It was maintained by public subscription and contained 6 beds and 1 cot.
By 1948 it had been enlarged into a small general acute GP hospital of 32 beds. The “League of Hospital Friends” movement in England first started in 1952 and grew rapidly. The Chalfonts and Gerrards Cross Hospital League of Friends was inaugurated in 1954, with the object of giving practical help to the Matron, sewing, visiting patients, transporting tonsil cases, and raising funds for the amenities of patient and staff.
Over the years the League of Friends:
- Organised a voluntary car service for Outpatients and Physiotherapy patients plus a flower-care team and trolley service for the wards.
- 1979 – funded the building and equipping of an up-to-date X-ray department at an estimated cost of £110,000. A Special Appeal from May to November 1979 raised enough for the building of the Department.
- 1987/88 nearly £30,000 was spent on the purchase of a portable electronic keyboard for Church Services at the Hospital, a flexible sigmoid scope, double glazed windows in sluice/bathroom/toilet areas, blinds, accessable toilets, and a visual screen analyser for glaucoma patients.
- Purchased an Endoscope, a TV aerial system providing more TV access points and vastly improving reception, an Auto refractor for eye-testing, an ECG machine, an ENT light source and a nerve stimulator; pictures and clocks for the newly refurbished Memorial Ward; a new “air” mattress which greatly assisted in the treatment and prevention of pressure sores, and funded the purchase of a radio system to pipe 4 programmes to each bed.
- Organised the Staff Christmas Party for the first time and continues to do so.
- 2000 – the Memorial Garden adjacent to Brooks Ward was commissioned, created and opened on 30 August.
- 2003 – funded a “One Stop Clinic”, to hold clinics to help and treat those people suffering from diabetes and an IV clinic, amongst others specialities.
- 2008 – having already closed Brooks Ward, the Primary Care Trust decided to move the inpatient unit (Memorial Ward) into alternative accommodation for the safety of the patients during the repair work. Outpatient facilities remained where they are pending decisions on re-building.
- 2011 – Chiltern Health, a private company, took over the Phlebotomy Service at our Hospital. On 1 July, Care UK (another private company) took over the Physiotherapy service.
- 2013 – The League designed and produced a printed leaflet giving details of the clinics the hospital has to offer together with the names of the specialists and times of the clinics. The Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Clinic held in the downstairs ward, formerly Brooks Ward had League volunteers to help with refreshments.
- 2014 – three new wheelchairs and some leaflet display boxes for Outpatients plus a microwave for the staff kitchen. Volunteers from the League and Chalfont St Peter’s Garden Club have maintained the Memorial Garden throughout the year.
- 2015 – The League funded the leasing of a Skoda 4-wheel drive car for use by the District Nurses now based in the hospital. This will be particularly useful in bad weather enabling staff to reach patients with necessary care and equipment. The Health Visitors have now settled into “Brooks Ward” and areas such as the staff dining room are now used by the Diabetic Clinic and Podiatry Clinic amongst others – new chairs for these were purchased by the League.
- 2016 – The heating at the hospital was repaired and improved, plus hand-rails along the corridor’s walls were funded by the League. A second trained part-time nurse to staff new Outpatients’ clinics requested by consultants was hired and their first year’s salary was funded by the League.