The way we were for NHS25: hospital news from 1973

Hospital news bulletins from 50 years ago

Today’s Blackpool Teaching Hospitals bulletin goes out to colleagues twice weekly by email and is also available online. The Chief Executive and her team also hold a weekly video briefing that all colleagues are welcome to watch and join in.

Fifty years ago, other than word of mouth, it was newsletters and print that were the main way of communicating news. The library at Blackpool Victoria Hospital has unearthed two examples of these, printed on A4 paper by stencil duplicator, from May/June and July 1973.

Published by Blackpool and Fylde Hospital Management Committee, they include current and historical stories about the then more numerous but smaller local NHS hospitals, a personal column of births, marriage and deaths, news of appointments and awards, as well as staff social and sports news.

There is also information about preparations for the 1974 reorganisation of the NHS which ushered in regional and district health authorities, now long gone.

The May/June edition includes a story about nurse Maureen Kennedy, from Blackpool, who moved to work in Iceland – but was finding the cost of living very high. Developing a roll of camera film cost an eye-watering £6, she wrote.

There’s also report from the latest session of the “Shrinkers” keep fit class at Devonshire Road hospital social club: “Mrs Barbara Walker who lost over three stone won a prize of £8.50 towards a new outfit. The prize money was collected by 5p weekly subscriptions from members.”

July’s edition records the retirement of Miss K. Hayes as matron at Blackpool Victoria Hospital. She had trained in York and London, moving to Blackpool from Cornwall as matron in 1965. Among her many retirement gifts were three chandelier lamp shades,  a Hoover Dustette and one set of nylon bed linen.

At the now demolished Wesham Park hospital, a continental food week was held in the restaurant where “as well as the traditional food …. there were one or two foreign main courses served for lunch each day”.

It was clearly popular with a 20 per cent uptick in customers with “quite a few staff from Victoria Hospital” making the trip to sample the dishes.

Posted in Home Page, NHS75, Press Releases.