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70 Years of the NHS 1948 - 2018

Our National Health Service  turnied 70 on 5 July 2018 and at Dorset County Hospital we wanted tocelebratie the achievements of one of the nation’s most loved institutions, appreciating the vital role the service plays in our lives, and recognising and thanking the extraordinary NHS staff – the everyday heroes – who are there to guide, support and care for us, day in, day out.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​175th Anniversary 

​About the Project​​​​

2015 marked​ the 175th anniversary of an institution that touches nearly every local life: The Dorset County Hospital. “Dorset County Hospital: 175 Years of Rural Healthcare” is a celebration of 175 years of free healthcare for the people of Dorset, tracing the development of Dorset’s first hospital, from a Victorian Charity to the present day. It is a unique partnership between Arts in Hospital at Dorset County Hospital, Dorset History Centre and Dorset County Museum, exploring how heritage and health sectors can work together to circulate health messages, support volunteering in heritage, collect new histories and engage younger audiences in heritage across the county and beyond.

The project has three interconnected strands, an oral history project with volunteers collecting patient and staff stories which feed into a musical composition and concert, an exhibition at Dorset County Hospital on the history of medical care in the county since 1840 and a new “health and heritage” trail for visitors and residents of Dorchester based around the life and times of pioneering Victorian doctor Sir Frederick Treves.

The project leaves a legacy for the local residents to continually engage with and feel a part of, including new, freely accessible collections of sound recordings and other materials for the public within the archives of the Dorset History Centre and Dorset County Museum. For Dorset County NHS Foundation Trust at the hospital, the project supports its engagement with local communities, encouraging them to become owners and active stakeholders in the service, whilst creating a sense of pride and achievement for NHS staff. 

The Book 

"Dorset County Hospital: 175 Years of Rural Healthcare" 

by Mark Collyer - view online now!​

The project is thrilled to announce the publication of “Dorset County Hospital: 175 Years of Rural Healthcare”. Find out when the matron’s weekly beer ration was stopped, which Dorset doctor operated on King Edward VII, who was the first person to arrive at the hospital by air ambulance and why the hospital didn’t often run out of eggs in wartime.

A fascinating history of Dorset County Hospital from its foundation by Dorset Victorian philanthropists, such as the Earl of Shaftesbury in 1840, to the creation of the present day National Health Service.​

​This wonderful publication is a full colour paperback ranging 69 pages. It costs only £6.95, plus £2.50 postage and packaging – with all proceeds going to the hospital’s charitable fund. 

To order your copy please send your name and address, along with a cheque payable to “DCH Charitable Fund”, to Arts in Hospital, Dorset County Hospital, Williams Avenue, Dorchester DT1 2JY. Copies are also be available to view in the local library, Dorset County Hospital, Dorset History Centre and Dorset County Museum.​

​The Concert 

​​'The Founders Song' - An original composition by Tim Laycock performed by the Ridgeway Singers


The Treves Trail

The Treves Trail invites you to trace the footsteps of 19th Century doctor Sir Frederick Treves and his life in Dorset. As a resident of Dorchester and a supporter of the hospital, Treves was an eminent surgeon famous for befriending the "Elephant Man" and performing a life-saving operation on the hospital's patron, King Edward VII.

Discover more about the The Treves Trail​

View the leaflet online and download here: https://issuu.com/artsinhospital/docs/treves_trail_leaflet​​ 

To view the Caches online, click HERE​

Our Funders 

The '175 Years of Rural Healthcare' project team are extremely grateful to the partners and organisations who have backed us to make the project as successful as possible. This list provides a short description about the individual contributions that have made all this possible:

1. ​ Heritage Lottery Fund provided the core sum of our funding to carry out the project, with a total of £11,822 granted to us.​

2. As part of the funds from the DCH charitable funds, the project received £2,822.


Our Partners:

Dorset History Centre​

Alongside existing Dorset History Centre (DHC) resources, they have recruited and trained a number of volunteers to conduct oral history interviews from the hospital community and beyond. They are also responsible for the Frederick Treeves trail and management of our youth heritage team.

Dorset County Museum

Dorset County Museum have made available their extensive collections and objects to be made available for the Arts in Hospital team. They sit as a formal member of our steering group and contributed access to their resources ​as well as offering the venue for the concert.

© Dorset County Hospital 2013

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