Upon opening in Poole more than 50 years ago, the new general hospital was a huge complex - as information from a booklet shows

508 beds were available- 52 of them were maternity beds, 16 of them were special care baby beds, and there were 50 isolation beds.

There was a 13-storey nursing building near the main hospital building, housing 202 nurses, as well as the Cornelia Home, which housed 50 nurses. Six married doctors were housed in flats above and 14 single doctors were given penthouses above the main hospital.

The booklet, issued at the time Poole General Hospital opened, also showed how busy the place would be. It was expecting to admit 13,500 inpatients a year, staying an average of 12 days.

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In the accident department, which would be the town's main emergency centre, there would be 1,800 day-patients treated and 140,000 outpatients seen.

Every day, 2,500 meals would be produced, and 4.5 million cubic feet of accommodation had to be cleaned and maintained.

The whole project cost £4.5million in 1969 - almost £70million in today’s money.

Its staff included 50 doctors, 525 nurses, 100 other professionals and technical services staff, 400 in catering, domestic and supply services and 80 administration and clerical workers.

Bournemouth Echo:

“This new hospital is a comprehensive district general hospital which, together with various other general hospitals, will serve the 380,000 people in the Bournemouth and East Dorset Group,” the booklet said.

“Ultimately a second new district general hospital will be built in Bournemouth to replace some of the older hospitals and meet the needs of an expected increase in population.”

Many departments would be working through the night, the booklet noted.

It added: “A famous surgeon once stated – when asked his occupation – that he was an ‘artist’ and as such felt the romance and peace of the ‘hospital at night’ was a great stimulus to his work and provided an atmosphere in which he was able to carry out some of his greatest surgical feats.”