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Helston Community Hospital celebrates 100 years

Staff celebrating 100 years at Helston Community Hospital.

Staff past and present, dignitaries and invited guests have attended a re-dedication ceremony to celebrate 100 years of Helston Community Hospital.

It first opened as a cottage hospital on 21 May 1923, thanks to funds raised by the people of the Lizard Peninsula. It has also served as the area's central war memorial since the end of World War 1, during which 200 local men lost their lives.

Today the hospital still provides essential NHS services, both for inpatients and to the wider community in their homes.

After a period of reduced operating hours, the minor injury unit is now open 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday, with plans to increase its opening hours later in the year.

Matron Lynda McHale has worked at Helston Community Hospital for over 40 years, and was among those who gave a speech at Sunday's ceremony.

"Over the years the hospital has seen many services integrating into the hospital, enabling us as a trust to care for people closer to their home. On site we have 24 inpatient beds, a minor injury unit and minor illness department, a day hospital, outpatient departments, a birthing unit, a relatives' suite, therapy teams, a district nurse team, a community rehab team, Home First, community matrons, specialist nurses and a palliative care team.

"Helston Community Hospital is an integrated hub, providing services to meet the needs of their community".

The re-dedication of the hospital was carried out by the Bishop of Truro, the Right Reverend Philip Mounstephen.

Following the ceremony, a plaque was unveiled by Lord St Levan, whose ancestor opened the hospital back in 1923. He reflected on the changes over the last 100 years. "Through the sifting sands of different governments and different health policies, the hospital has found ways to adapt, to expand, to repurpose its buildings and to provide new services. Nowadays, there are some 250 people working here, and the emphasis is on rehabilitation back into the community rather than on long-term care.

"I think that anyone who visits, as I did for the first time last month, would be struck by the warmth of the welcome, the sense of purpose, the air of optimism, the comradery that exists between the people who work here".

The re-dedication ceremony ended with a rendition of Trelawney and Happy Birthday, played by Helston Town Band.

Staff and guests were then invited to a private garden party, complete with a special birthday cake!

Watch Matron Lynda McHale speaking about Helston Community Hospital's achievements over the last 100 years.

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