The hospital was opened in 1953 after being started in January 1953 by the Royal Air Force Airfield Construction and Medical Branches of the Headquarters 2nd Tactical Air Force—it was built in just 111 days, functioning as a fully operating hospital for the members of all three armed forces, their families and associated civilians based in West Germany, for a period of 43 years.
The hospital was built in a unique manner with two half circles, more like horseshoes. The outer horseshoe was for patients and wards, while the inner horseshoe was for staff and administration, as well as a central kitchen area that could be converted into wards in the event of emergencies.
In one year the hospital maternity ward could deliver up to 1,000 babies, while other wards had an in-patient number of 6,000 per year and out-patient of 32,000. During the 1990 Gulf War members of the hospital served in the Middle East, which strained hospital numbers so much so that they had to recruit civilian nurses and staff to fill the void. All members returned safely.
In 1996 a wing of the hospital burned down and on 1 April 1996, it was formally handed over to [United Kingdom Support Command] UKSC. A small in-patient psychiatric unit and some community services remained at the hospital while all other secondary care was transferred to local German hospitals.
Post Hospital YearsEdit
The BFGHS is a partnership arrangement between the Ministry of Defence (MoD); the Soldiers, Sailors, Airman and Families Association (SSAFA); and Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, London, to provide primary care services, community and outpatient services to the British Forces community throughout Germany.
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