Unit History: Royal Herbert Hospital
The two storey Royal Herbert Hospital was built by the authority of Sidney Herbert the 1st Baron Herbert of Lea. Sidney Herbert was responsible for sending Florence Nightingale to the Crimea and led the War Office reforms after this campaign. He was particularly interested in health care and reducing military mortality rates from diseases and ill treated war wounds. There is a statue of him at Waterloo Place in London. The building work of the hospital cost £209,139 and the land purchase was £6,394.
The Royal Herbert Hospital became the main orthopaedic centre for the British Army. There were also general surgical and medical wards for army personnel and their families. At its peak the hospital had 15 wards which accommodated 650 beds. This included a guardroom and prison ward for 28 army prisoners. Though in the first two years of opening the Herbert Hospital had no more than 300 patients at any time.
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