Worthing Hospital has more than 500 beds and provides a full range of general acute services including maternity, outpatients, A&E and intensive care.
The hospital primarily serves people living in Worthing, Shoreham-by-Sea and also towns and villages along the coast and in the inland areas of west Sussex.
However, it also offers more specialist services, such as the eye unit and West Sussex breast screening, to more than 600, 000 people in a wider catchment area stretching from Chichester in the west to Brighton in the east.
Worthing’s first hospital was a dispensary in Ann Street, created in 1829. A new dispensary was set up in 1845 in Chapel Road, which was enlarged in 1860 to become known as the Worthing Infirmary and Dispensary.
In 1882, the infirmary moved to the hospital's current location, in Lyndhurst Road, at a cost of £5, 000. In 1902 it was given the name Worthing Hospital.
X-ray technology came to Worthing during the inter-war years, a development described by the local paper as "the staggering amount of 200, 000 volts of electricity being generated by a giant apparatus, the very latest result of scientific research".
In 1939, the Princess Royal opened a new children's ward and in 1946 there were record numbers of births at the hospital – 578 boys and 553 girls.
The first helicopter ambulance landed in Homefield Park in 1960 to transfer a cyclist with spinal injuries to Stoke Mandeville Hospital.
A £50 million development programme was carried out in 1997 and 1998, culminating in the opening of the new East Wing. It used a million bricks and 150, 000 tonnes of concrete, and was officially opened by the Princess Royal. The interior design is colour-coded: terracotta, to represent the earth, on the ground floor; green, for the Downs, on the first floor; and blue, the sky, on the second and third floors.
Important developments in patient care were also made in 1998 when the renal dialysis unit opened, meaning patients with kidney failure no longer had to travel to Portsmouth or Brighton for dialysis up to three times a week. The new diabetes centre also opened bringing all diabetic care into one place and three years later the £1.3 million Children’s Centre also opened its doors.
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