65 years has changed Stracathro Hospital

Stracathro Hospital

Stracathro Hospital

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Since the National Health Service’s conception 65 years ago a number of changes have taken place within Stracathro Hospital.

Prior to the establishment of the NHS Tayside 54 establishments existed within NHS Tayside, providing enough beds for over 8,000 patients.

Now, 65 years later, NHS Tayside has around 2,000 beds within 21 healthcare buildings.

Curator of Tayside Medical History Museum Dr Graham Lowe explained the changes to Stracathro Hospital: “Stracathro and Bridge of Earn arose as Emergency War Hospitals. These were built over large areas to minimise expected air raid bomb damage, from which Tayside mercifully escaped relatively unscathed.

“After the war both served (with over 1500 beds) as general hospitals for the country districts, but with increasing medical specialisation and centralisation of hospital services their role declined, and Bridge of Earn subsequently closed.

“However, as the only functioning example of the original seven Scottish war hospitals, Stracathro received significant reinvestment into elective surgery and outpatient services including care for the elderly, stroke and cancer patients.”

NHS Tayside has also demonstrated its commitment to mental health services with the recent £95 million investment in state-of-the-art facilities at Murray Royal Hospital in Perth and Stracathro Hospital.

The new facilities at Stracathro opened in November 2011 and replaced Sunnyside Royal Hospital in Montrose, which was the second site for the local psychiatric hospital in Angus.

The original Montrose Asylum, which was the first asylum in Scotland, was funded by public subscription established by local woman Susan Carnegie and opened in 1781.

In recognition of this, the new building at Stracathro was named The Susan Carnegie Centre.