From left: Ross White, Chief Executive, Holy Cross Hospital, Sister Mary Agnes and retiring Chief Executive, Christopher Hinton.
One hundred years to the day since the first patients arrived at Holy Cross Hospital, Haslemere, the Hospital concluded its centenary celebrations with a reception for staff, patients and supporters, including the Lord Lieutenant of Surrey, Michael More-Molyneux and Deputy Mayor of Haslemere, Councillor David Round.
The reception completed a busy year of activity in which the Hospital has reflected on its 100 years of care, its changing role and the people who have come into contact with it, particularly staff and patients.
Holy Cross Hospital welcomed its first patients on Thursday 21 February 1918 after they were transferred from Ramsgate, Kent. The move was prompted by advice from the government that the community needed to find a safer location away from the dangers of the ongoing war.
Retiring Chief Executive, Christopher Hinton said: “The past 12 months have been very much about telling Holy Cross’s story so far: through an exhibition, a lecture, a reunion party, a conference and dedicated church and music services. It’s fitting that as we come together to conclude what has been a productive centenary year, Holy Cross Hospital now looks forward to its next chapter with new Chief Executive, Ross White who succeeds me as I retire and who I’m delighted to welcome today.”
In October, HRH Princess Alexandra visited the hospital to officially open its new education centre, St Hugh’s. As a registered charity, Holy Cross Hospital relies partly on donations and fundraising. Looking back at the highlights of the past 12 months, Mr Hinton thanked the Hospital’s supporters: “The Friends of Holy Cross give a strong sense of how the Hospital is supported and without them we would not have completed our Never out of Breath project last year, raising an amazing £210,000 to benefit patients who need oxygen or suction support. Patients with those needs now receive it comfortably and safely through an integrated piped system rather than from cumbersome tanks.”
Lord Lieutenant Michael More-Molyneux congratulated the Hospital on its warm and caring atmosphere and congratulated Mr Hinton on his achievements over 40 years at Holy Cross.
Dr Helen Bynum, an author and international expert on the history of tuberculosis, spoke briefly about Holy Cross’s original purpose as a tuberculosis sanatorium. Dr Bynum first visited Haslemere in September when she gave a centenary lecture on the subject of tuberculosis.
Since arriving in Haslemere, Holy Cross Hospital has adapted and evolved from a TB sanatorium to a Hospital that now provides long-term support and rehabilitation for people with severe disability and extremely complex needs.
More information about the Hospital and its centenary celebrations can be seen at www.holycross.org.uk.