Horton General Hospital Celebrates 150

Interim Chief Executive of the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Professor Meghana Pandit and Professor Sir Jonathan Montgomery cutting the cake

On 17th July 2022, the Horton General Hospital celebrated its 150th anniversary.

On Friday 15th July, a celebratory event took place at the Horton, including a cake cutting ceremony. Reporters Sam Smette and Sarah Bowers went along to meet some of the staff and volunteers that help to make a difference. You can hear the Birthday celebration on BBC Sounds.

As part of the celebrations, Radio Horton took part in a simulcast programme with BBC Radio Oxford, looking back at the Horton’s 150 years, hearing from staff, volunteers and patients about their stories, memories and experiences of Banbury’s highly cherished hospital.

Listen back our audio archive below:

Yolanda Jacob, Horton General Hospital Operational Manager

Yolanda has worked at the hospital for over twenty-five years, working her way up to become Operational Manager. Talking to Radio Horton’s Sam Smette, Yolanda said “The hospital is like a family, you can walk down a corridor and greet a colleague on a first-name basis, I just love working here”.

A history of the Horton General Hospital

The Horton General Hospital was opened as the Horton Infirmary on 17 July 1872, with two wards, men’s and women’s, and a total of twelve beds. Since then, over the last 150 years, the hospital has evolved and sees over 45,000 patients through its doors every year.

Lucy Barrell, Archivist at the Oxfordshire Health Archives gave us an insight into life at the Horton General Hospital in its early days, and how the hospital has evolved over the past one-hundred-and-fifty years.

Hospital Radio

Radio Horton has also played an important part of the hospital’s history over the last fifty-eight years. Launching in July 1964, listeners were greeted with the immortal words “This is Radio Horton calling”, spoken by the station’s co-founders, local journalists, Ted Hanson MBE and Graham Wilton. Today, the radio station broadcasts twenty-four hours a day, bringing comfort and entertainment to patients and making a difference to their stay in hospital, as well as branching out to support residents in local care homes.

Sarah Bowers and Joy Dansette share their stories and give an insight into North Oxfordshire’s hospital, health and wellbeing broadcasting service.

Volunteering at the Horton Hospital

Volunteers play a critical role in supporting activities across the hospital. We caught up with Voluntary Services Coordinator at the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Bridget Daly for a chat about how volunteers contribute to life at the Horton General Hospital, supporting staff and patients in a variety of ways.

We also hear from one of the Volunteer Porter’s at the Horton, Karl Thompson who shares his inspirational story.

Improving health outcomes for patients, staff and visitors

The Here for Health Centre is a free healthy living support service available for staff, patients and visitors to Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Located in Outpatients at the Horton General Hospital the Centre offers: Healthy lifestyle information and advice; Behaviour change support; Referral and signposting to community services; Health measurements and; Health MOTs.

The service can support staff, patients and visitors with healthy eating, being more active, stopping smoking and reducing drinking.

Emma Hagues, Service Development Manager at the Here For Health team tells us more about the service and how it is helping to pave the way for the future of healthcare, reducing or preventing the advancement of ill health.

Charitable activities and raising funds

The Horton General Hospital Charity helps transform the Horton General to make a difference to patients and staff at this very special hospital. This much-loved hospital has long benefited from the generosity of the local population; indeed it is named after its original benefactor, Mary Ann Horton.

Gail Williams from the Horton General Hospital Charity shares examples of some of the many projects the charity has helped to fund and describes the impact on patients and staff.

Going back in time with a former Midwife:

Philamena Hansford worked as a midwife and shares her emotional story of how she was recruited by the NHS from Enniskillen in Northern Ireland, initially to work as a nurse in Romford, Essex due to a shortage of nurses there, before moving to Banbury to work at the Horton General Hospital.

During her career, Philamena trained Sir Roger Gilbert Bannister CH CBE FRCP, during his training as a Doctor and neurologist, but is perhaps most renowned for running the first four minute mile.

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