The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – and 70 local facts about your NHS

The Queen this year celebrates 70 years as our monarch – ascending to the throne in 1952, just four years after the birth of the NHS.

Here we look at 70 local facts about the NHS and health services in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, one for each year of her reign…and we hope that one or two of them come as surprises to you with links to major events in history, a number of television programmes and celebrities past and present.

  • 1. In this jubilee year, it was Queen Victoria who laid the foundation stone for the former Royal Victoria Hospital, Netley on 19 May, 1856 – under a copy of the plans and the first Victoria Cross. Its design was controversial, especially with Florence Nightingale.
  • 2. Southern Health’s Multi-Agency Stalking Project featured in a two-part documentary starring TV personality and former Strictly Come Dancing winner Stacey Dooley earlier this year.
  • 3. The number of patients referred to University Hospital Southampton with suspected cancer fell during the pandemic in 2020/21 - with 7% fewer patients. Referrals returned to pre-pandemic levels or higher from July 2020 onwards.
  • 4. A much-loved holiday destination, the Isle of Wight population swells significantly in the summer months – regularly resulting in 20% more attendances at our emergency department, giving year-round pressures on the service.
  • 5. Construction of the main building of the former Royal Hospital Haslar at Gosport was completed in 1753 – when it became the largest brick building in Europe. 
  • 6. The NHS is boosting its green credentials by planning to improve air quality by cutting business mileage by 20% by 2023/24, ensuring that at least 90% of the NHS fleet uses low-emission engines by 2028 and by phasing out primary heating from coal and oil fuel on NHS estates.
  • 7. South Central Ambulance Service serves a population of more than seven million people, and answers over 500,00 urgent calls a year.
  • 8. University Hospital Southampton (UHS) NHS Foundation Trust is one of the largest acute teaching trusts in England with a turnover of more than £1b in 2020/21.
  • 9. UHS is a designated major trauma centre - one of only two places in the south of England to offer adults and children full major trauma care provision. 10. Every year over 12,000 staff at UHS treat around 160,000 inpatients and day patients, including about 75,000 emergency admissions.
  • 11. Staff at University Hospital Southampton see over 650,000 people at outpatient appointments, deal with around 150,000 cases in its emergency department and deliver more than 100 outpatient clinics across the south of England.
  • 12. Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth, started life more than a century ago as a military facility. Today it has 1,200 beds. 
  • 13. The current QA – originally named after King Edward VII’s wife - was opened by Princess Alexandra in 1980, and subsequently went through a major redevelopment to create a modern and 'fit for purpose' hospital, which was completed in 2009.
  • 14. Solent NHS Trust, with an annual income of over £238m in 2020/21, employed 6,296 clinical and non-clinical members of staff (including part time and bank staff) by March 31, 2021. This equated to 3,289 full time equivalents.
  • 15. About 18.8% (3,985) Isle of Wight children live in low-income families. Life expectancy is 6.1 years lower for men and 4.3 years lower for women in the most deprived areas of the island. 
  • 16. Southern Health operates from more than 300 sites including community hospitals, health centres, inpatient units and community-based services.
  • 17. Portsmouth’s former Royal Hospital, which closed in 1979, contained a 'Lock Ward' for treating prostitutes under the Contagious Diseases Acts 1863–1886. Women would be compulsorily examined and, if infected, detained until pronounced 'clean.’
  • 18. Gosport’s Haslar Hospital closed in 2009. Building works cost more than £100,000, nearly double the cost of the Admiralty headquarters in London.
  • 19. A falls prevention training programme initially developed as a pilot in the north and mid Hampshire area - in response to evidence of a nationwide increase in the number of falls among care/nursing home residents - has been rolled out to all care homes in HIOW.
  • 20. Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital (BNHH) opened as a maternity unit in 1969. The main hospital building opened in 1974.
  • 21. In 1999, BNHH became the first hospital in Europe to perform surgery using equipment operated by voice commands.
  • 22. South Central Ambulance Service employs more than 4,500 staff who, together with more than 1,100 volunteers, enable it to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • 23. Its two local Air Ambulances operate from 7am to 2am, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Most incidents involve patients seriously injured in road traffic collisions or involve life-threatening medical emergencies from incidents such industrial accidents.
  • 24. More than 200 military personnel work alongside NHS colleagues at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth, including consultant doctors, specialist and generalist nurses, and allied healthcare professionals. 
  • 25. In providing this service, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) clinicians maintain and develop the clinical skills that will be used to provide medical support to the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force wherever they may be deployed world-wide.
  • 26. Like many hospitals in Hampshire, the Royal Victoria Hospital at Netley, built as a result of the Crimea war, was extensively used during the First World War – and in World War Two it became the 28th US General Hospital during the invasion of Europe.
  • 27. Isle of Wight Trust employ around 3,000 staff and provides a full range of healthcare services to an offshore population of just over 140,000 people.
  • 28. Andover War Memorial Hospital has its origins in a small cottage hospital erected in Junction Road in 1876. It was decided to build a new hospital in Charlton Road to commemorate the lives of servicemen who died in World War One.
  • 29. The new facility at Andover was officially opened in 1926 by Field Marshal Viscount Allenby– a Boer War and WW1 veteran.
  • 30. It was used as a set for both series of the Channel 4 comedy series Green Wing which broadcast between September 2004 and May 2006.
  • 31. Dr Tom Bertram, a GP at Titchfield, and a clinical director for a Primary Care Network in the Fareham area, was an international hockey player for England and Great Britain – playing in two Summer Olympic Games for GB in 2000 and 2004.
  • 32. A two-storey extension to Hythe and Dibden War Memorial Hospital is expected to open later this year, with services to include physiotherapy, musculoskeletal, pain, a respiratory clinic, Older Persons Mental Health, podiatry, bladder, bowel and stoma care, paediatric health, a heart failure clinic, maternity services, gynaecology, urology and special care dentistry.
  • 33. In 2020/21, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust provided care to 192,742 people (compared to 215,013 in 2019/20) across a population of 1,756,104.
  • 34. Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has made amazing advances in digital technology. Between April and June 2020, more than 50,000 non-face-to-face consultations took place, from an almost standing start.
  • 35. Solent NHS Trust provides specialist dental services to people who are unable to access dental care in the General Dental Service because of their special needs. Our services operate across Southampton, Portsmouth, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
  • 36. On 17 May, 2010, an investigation of the former Haslar Hospital's burial ground in Gosport, by archaeologists from Cranfield Forensic Institute, was featured on Channel 4’s Time Team and established that an estimated 7,785 souls had been buried in unmarked graves.
  • 37. As of March 31, 2022, 92% of those aged 50 or over, or those with underlying health conditions, have had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, with 91% of those eligible having had a booster.
  • 38. The Petersfield-based acute care team at Swan Medical Group was short-listed for the final of the Practice Nursing Award, which was part of the GP National Awards 2021. This success was a year after Swan’s Emily Spalding was named Practice Manager of the Year.
  • 39. NHS Hampshire, Southampton and Isle of Wight CCG has ensured patients experiencing a first episode psychosis receive treatment within two weeks of referral, exceeding the 56% standard with 66.7%.
  • 40. Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was formed January 2012, when the Basingstoke and North Hants Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust merged with the Winchester and Eastleigh NHS Trust.
  • 41. Florence Nightingale was buried in East Wellow, near Romsey, Hampshire – near the family home in Embley Park, After she died peacefully in her sleep in London in 1910, aged 90, relatives declined the offer of burial in Westminster Abbey.
  • 42. Portsmouth Hospitals University Trust enjoys a significant reputation for research and innovation. Some of its patients are regularly the first in the world to have the opportunity to join trials for new treatments, and even more are the first in the UK to do so.
  • 43. Isle of Wight Trust operates an ambulance service that delivers all emergency and non-emergency ambulance transport with 21,588 emergency calls and 26,475 ambulance responses during 2020/21.
  • 44. The main building of the former Royal Victoria Hospital at Netley was the world's longest building when completed. It was entirely demolished in 1966, except for the chapel and former YMCA building. 
  • 45. Shortly before its demolition in 1966, the late Jonathan Miller filmed his 1966 version of Alice in Wonderlandin the former Royal Victoria Hospital at Netley. 
  • 46. In response to COVID-19, the Infection Prevention and Control Service has provided a seven-day infection prevention advice service to care homes and home care to support them to prevent and manage outbreaks, use personal protective equipment effectively, to access COVID-19 testing and to interpret results.
  • 47. During 2020/21 and the COVID-19 pandemic, Southern Health provided 1,317,206 contacts with patients in the community - compared to 1,158,426 the previous year.
  • 48. Southern Health staff also delivered 145,738 outpatient appointments and 187,524 bed days, (201,044 and 211,235 in 2019/20). The modest decrease reflected national directives to reduce, where possible and appropriate, attendance to sites.
  • 49. The laboratory teams at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Trust were the first in the UK to test for COVID-19 outside of a Public Health England laboratory.
  • 50. St James' Hospital, Portsmouth, which today remains a mental health facility managed by Solent NHS Trust, opened as the Portsmouth Borough Asylum in September 1879. A sanatorium for the treatment of infectious diseases opened in 1879 and the wards were extended in 1895. 
  • 51. NHS Hampshire, Southampton and Isle of Wight CCG received a total revenue allocation of £3,210.6m in 2021/22, and a running costs allocation of £32.6m (total resource limit of £3,243.27m). Revenue expenditure for the year amounted to £3,243.24m, which provided an in-year surplus of £26,000.
  • 52. Some £48.1m of the £3,243.3m CCG net expenditure related specifically to the Hospital Discharge Programme.
  • 53. £6,930,000 of the CCG’s Primary Care Delegated expenditure quoted above relates specifically to the Winter Access Funding schemes.
  • 54. During 2021, two former Minor Injuries Units – at Gosport and Petersfield – were upgraded to urgent treatment centres (UTCs) offering extended services to people needing urgent health care.
  • 55. Attendance rates at Accident and Emergency Departments remains 8% higher than it was pre-pandemic – with Hampshire having one of the highest COVID case rates in the country.
  • 56. The number of children and young people accessing mental health services across Hampshire through 2021/22 was 36% above target by the end of December 2021 - reflecting the significant increase in those presenting with mental health difficulties. 
  • 57. In June 2020, the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust launched the sunflower lanyard scheme for hidden disabilities - participating in the national initiative to ensure that people whose disabilities are not visible are able to access further support and reasonable adjustments by means of a nationally recognised indicator. Some 618 lanyards were issued in 2020/21.
  • 58. The Royal South Hants Hospital as Southampton was founded as a voluntary hospital in 1835 and moved into its first premises in St Mary Street as the Royal South Hampshire Infirmary in 1838.
  • 59. The foundation stone for new premises in Fanshawe Street was laid in July 1843 and the hospital opened there in 1844. Joseph and William Bullar, doctors and brothers of children’s author Anne Bullar, funded additional wards for the hospital. The Bullar Wards were completed in 1851.
  • 60. Southern Health’s total income for 2020/21, including the money from Clinical Commissioning Groups, was £383m – up from the £337m in 2019/20.
  • 61. Isle of Wight Trust provides acute services from St Mary’s Hospital in Newport. It has 245 general and acute beds (including ITU and Children’s Ward) and around 23,000 admissions each year (excluding Endoscopy and Chemotherapy).
  • 62. With the now widespread use of technology and social media, the Integrated Care System is continuing to seek ways to reduce spending on printing and paper. The CCG now uses apps to ensure that our large internal and external meetings are paper light.
  • 63. During 2020/21, The Emergency Department at Queen Alexandra Hospital saw 93,803 patients, and staff dealt with over 57,000 emergency admissions (excluding maternity), over 434,000 outpatient consultations and more than 37,000 day-case admissions.
  • 64. Florence Nightingale advised on the construction on this new site and the architect William Butterfield designed the new hospital, which opened in 1868 with sixteen in-patients and fourteen out-patients. 
  • 65. The CCG successfully bid for funding to improve the digital capacity of care homes in Southampton, including the upgrading of WIFI systems to allow staff to make better use of electronic shared records and monitoring.
  • 66. In partnership with South Central and West Commissioning Support Unit, the CCG developed a workforce equality and diversity dashboard in 2021/22. We can now track in real time the gender, ethnicity and disability profile of employees, disaggregated by their age group, pay band and working pattern.
  • 67. In July 2021, a new and long-anticipated £3.5m replacement GP surgery opened at Emsworth – on the site of a former and derelict cottage hospital, part of which was retained and refurbished. The new Emsworth Medical Practice replaced its former cramped town centre home.
  • 68. The Royal Hampshire County Hospital, Winchester, was founded in 1736 and initially was based in Colebrook Street before moving to a site in Parchment Street in 1759. Due to drainage issues, a site on higher ground was required and the hospital moved to its present site on Romsey Road. 
  • 69. Southampton General Hospital was the location for the daytime TV fly-on-the-wall documentary series The Generaland the ITV documentary series Trauma: Level One.
  • 70. The neighbouring Princess Anne Hospital was the setting of the first two series of Channel 4's One Born Every Minute.