Lymington Hospital History

King Edward VII Memorial Hospital founded 1912

In 1912, the local population was only 5,000. Several people known personally to King Edward VII decided a memorial should be created for him in the form of a local hospital. The estimated building costs were £600, and the money was quickly raised by volunteers. In 1913 the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital opened.

Lymington Hospital becomes part of the NHS 1948

In 1948 the Hospital joined the National Health Service and changed its name to Lymington Hospital.

League of Friends formed 1952

The mid 1960’s saw the number of inpatients rise to 2,246 using 95 beds and 610 clinics served a further 9,949 outpatients. To meet this demand, the League of Friends began an extended period of action to allow the existing hospital to meet the growing requirements of the local community and to ensure the long-term future of the hospital facilities.

Hospital Improvements Appeal 1979

In 1979 a public meeting of the League of Friends concluded that in a time of cutbacks the hospital was at risk of closure.  From this meeting a Public Appeal was launched to raise £150,000 to rebuild the Casualty Unit and Pathology Laboratory.  Public support greatly surpassed all expectations and the Appeal raised over £350,000.

New Hospital Project 1996

The project team considered that instead of rebuilding on the old site, which was too small and overcrowded, it would be best to build a new purpose designed hospital to accommodate all current services included in the old Hospital, Infirmary, and clinic accommodation.  The new site was to give ample car parking with room left over for future possible expansion.

Without the Health Commission’s approval and backing the health care required for some 70,000 people in Lymington Hospital’s catchment area would have to be reallocated to either Southampton or Bournemouth. These two large General Hospitals would have been delighted, as under the National Health policy of the time the money followed the patient, so they would have received the cash, which should have come to Lymington.

However this would have meant great inconvenience to patients and visitors living in the Lymington area and a loss of a great resource.

Thanks to the wonderful generosity of the local community jointly with the substantial funds of around £200,000 still held by the Hospital Appeal Trust, the League was able to offer a contribution of £1.5m towards the cost of new replacement wards or better still a new Hospital.

New Hospital opens 6 February 2007

It took 9 years (from 1996 to 2005) before works commenced at the current Ampress site.  During this period the League of Friends actively sought a suitable site for the new Hospital on the basis they would provide the funds for the land if the Health Authority, via a Private Finance Initiative (PFI), would fund the building.

The Hospital was completed in 2006 and officially opened by Princess Anne on 6th February 2007.