A giant framed 10 made up of faces of 300 babies born at Swindon’s GWH was unveiled on the tenth anniversary of the hospital opening on 3 December 2002.
One of the first babies to be cared for at the hospital Kelsey Payne who attends Brook Field Primary School, Shaw. Now 10 she was chosen to unveil the artwork located temporarily in the main corridor on the ground floor. It will be moved in the new year to a permanent position elsewhere in the building.
Kelsey was born on the shortly before the old Princess Margaret Hospital at Okus, Old Town closed. Patients started arriving at the GWH on 2 December and mum Sally Midwinter was transferred by ambulance with her new born weighing 8lbs 7oz in a small pod.
The Accident and Emergency Department opened at 7.01am on 3 December. The GWH now serves a population of around 340,000 people, with 3,300 staff. Over 1,000 have worked there since opening day.
The anniversary week included a ceremony to recognise NHS Heroes, a national scheme launched in the summer. On 5 December staff and the local media took part in the Great Western Bake Off to raise money for the GWH Trust Charitable Fund followed by a switch on of hospital Christmas tree lights.
On Thursday 6 December a time capsule buried in 2002 will be opened and mementoes of the last ten years will be added before it is resealed and buried again.
On Saturday 8 December over 50 thrill seekers will be abseiling 90 feet down the side of hospital to raise money for GWH NHS Foundation Trust Charitable Fund, which raises money to deliver an extraordinary provision of care to patients and invests in creating a positive environment for patients and staff. The abseil had a huge response within days of being launched and places are fully booked.
Bruce Laurie, Chair of Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “A decade after we moved from the much loved, but outdated, Princess Margaret Hospital, to the brand new Great Western Hospital, it still looks as good as new.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 foundation trust with over 12,000 members, we are now accountable to the communities we serve and have the autonomy to ensure our services meet the specific healthcare needs of local people.
“We enter the next decade absolutely committed to bringing radiotherapy to the Great Western Hospital so our patients no longer have to travel to Oxford for treatment. Despite the financial challenges facing the NHS, we will continue to provide high quality care in the heart of the community.”
All images by Richard Wintle. From top, Kelsey Payne unveils the 10 year artwork.
3 December 2002, chief executive Sonya Mills clocks in at A&E ready for the first visits
Checking in under the glare of the Media spotlight at the New Swindon Great Western Hospital the first A&E patient Jean Evans from Swindon
Patient Joy Kimber settles into the new £170 million PFI funded Swindon Great Western Hospital on its first day of business with a little gentle help from Sister Maria Avery-Prain
Richard Wintle ©Calyx Multimedia, 41, Churchward Avenue, Rodbourne Cheney, Swindon SN2 1NJ • 01793 520131 MOB: 07836 205196 www.calyxpix.com