(Tuesley Lane, Godalming, Surrey, England.)
Originally opened in 1928 as a TB sanatorium, Milford Hospital has been transformed over the years into a chest hospital, a hospital for the elderly, a smaller rehabilitation unit and then a multi-function community hospital. In 2014, two of its patients from its time as a TB hospital were commemorated by a plaque installed by the Comedy Society of Great Britain: Ray Galton and Alan Simpson started their comedy writing career whilst patients at Milford and went on to write such classics as Hancock’s Half Hour and Steptoe and Son.
Another incarnation for Milford Hospital dawns once the pandemic demands for acute beds no longer absorbs Milford beds. Under the NHS Longer Term Plan to boost primary and community care over the next 10 years, the model of care has changed towards an integrated one that keeps patients at home, with appropriate support, avoiding acute hospital admission.
There are several teams based at Milford who are integral to this model. The Home First and Rapid Response team has enlarged to allow them to see a greatly increased the number of patients each day. Over 50 patients a day are cared for at home and there is increased capacity to support acute hospital discharges.
The number of inpatient beds has increased to 23 to relieve pressure on acute beds and provide sub-acute care. Although some will be discharged within a few days, others with complex conditions will need longer stays.
The Milford Integrated Care Hub (formerly DATC) runs the outpatient antimicrobial team delivering intravenous antibiotics and supports the clinical pathways. Part of the old Cedar Ward is intended for the ambulatory unit, run by a geriatrician who will review patients with the aim of avoiding acute admissions. Those in need of a few days observation will use the ‘step up’ Community Hospital beds.
The good news is that thanks to the campaign by the LoF to save the X-Ray facility, and the support shown by the community for its retention, the whole issue of imaging was reviewed. X-Ray will stay and 2 MRI machines are planned for the site. This is still in the early stages but planning permission has been sought for the new unit. This is excellent news for patients in our area and the LoF looks forward to working closely with the radiology department as plans progress.