His Royal Highness, The Duke of Gloucester, visited Victoria Hospital in Deal, on Friday, 8 March, almost 100 years to the day since his own father opened the site.

The royal party were taken on a guided tour of Elizabeth Ward and the newly-refurbished garden, followed by a short plaque-unveiling ceremony in the hospital’s therapy gym. The Duke also enjoyed a performance from a local choir and met staff, volunteers and former employees before signing the visitors’ book, as his father had done 100 years before.

Also called the Victoria Walmer and District War Memorial Hospital, Victoria Hospital was opened in 1924, by the then Duke of Gloucester, Prince Henry, son of George V. The site provided both medical care to the people of the district and a permanent memorial to those who had given their lives in the First World War.

The hospital now provides a 22-bed inpatient ward as well as an Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) and several outpatient clinics.

John Goulston, chair of Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“We were delighted to welcome The Duke of Gloucester to Victoria Hospital, which has been a mainstay of this community for 100 years.

“Opened by his father, the hospital was built as a memorial to everyone who lost their lives in the Great War and continues to provide a wide range of healthcare for the people of Walmer and Deal in 2024.

“I wanted to give special praise and thanks to the Friends of Deal Hospital who have provided over a £1 million pounds’ worth of funding for the site. This includes x-ray machines, ultrasound machines and funds for the refurbishment of the outpatient department, summerhouse and garden.”

In 2022, Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust (KCHFT) invested more than £150k into the hospital, installing 284 solar panels as part of its sustainability strategy and in 2023, Gardeners’ World presenter Frances Tophill went back to her Deal roots to open a beach-themed garden for NHS staff and patients to enjoy.

By Ed

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