A Brief History of Musgrove Park Hospital - (67th General Hospital)
The 67th General Hospital was authorised on 3 March 1941, and activated 1 September 1942 as an American Army Hospital and occupied by the U.S. Army Medical Corps.
After the war, it continued in use as a Ministry of Pensions Hospital and only became a General Hospital within the National Health Service in 1951.
Many events took place over the years that affected staff and patients in unusual ways. Two of these took place in 1978, which was eventful for many and gained considerable publicity – the great snow of February 1978 and the train disaster of July 1978.
The helicopter became a familiar sight during the snow siege – the first landed at very short notice, bringing a patient with a head injury – an unusual group of staff carried him from the helicopter to the hospital through deep snowdrifts. After a few days, these flights became routine, bringing in mothers in labour and taking out supplies to smaller hospitals.
Every hospital has its Red Letter days – special occasions anticipated and honoured.
Two such for Musgrove were visits by H.R.H. Elizabeth the Queen Mother in 1959: and by H.R.H. Princess Anne in 1970, when she opened the Intensive Therapy Unit. The Intensive Therapy Unit was paid for by the League of Friends of Taunton Hospitals as the first of many major projects undertaken.
A full photographic record produced by Friends of Musgrove Park Hospital, 'Taunton Hospital in the 1970s', which will take you through the history of the hospital, can be found in the reference section of Taunton Library.
With thanks to the Friends of Musgrove Park Hospital for the above information.