Spire Hartswood Hospital celebrates its 30th anniversary

Staff at Spire Hartswood Hospital are delighted to be celebrating 30 years since the hospital first opened on 29 May 1983.

Several members of staff who worked at the hospital on its opening day remain working there three decades later. They, along with many more of the original staff were invited to a 'Staff of '83' reunion last week to enjoy a celebratory lunch and afternoon tea.

Also invited was local singer/songwriter Danielle Barnett who was the first patient of the hospital in May 1983 when she was just eight years old.

Back then, private healthcare was in a boom period with new hospitals springing up to meet growing demand for private medicine and surgery.

Huge changes have ensued with a shift towards outpatient and day care that could not have been imagined 30 years’ ago.

Today Spire Hartswood Hospital has 14 consulting rooms to serve over 40,000 outpatients a year. Yet, in 1983, three consulting rooms were considered enough!

Danielle Barnett will also be interviewed on Phoenix FM today at 11.30am.  Please listen in to find out more about her experiences at The Hartswood. 

Then and now

Procedure ...in 1983 ...in 2013
Knee replacement Two weeks in hospital We now offer personalised knee replacements with a standard three day stay.
Tonsillectomy One week in hospital Normally done as either a day case or one night stay.
MRI/CT scanning Highly specialised and not available at The Hartswood Standard diagnostic investigation for many patients across all specialties.
Kidney stones Open surgery or stent We can now use laser or shockwave therapy to shatter the stones so that surgery may not be needed at all.
Cataract surgery Open surgery with two nights in hospital Now done under local anaesthetic as a day case, using an ultrasonic probe to up break the cataract and wash it away  (phacoemulsification). Patients can now choose a multifocal lens implant to correct near and far vision and make them  ‘spectacle-free’.

Find a treatment, test or scan available at:


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Hospital Director, Mark Gilmour presenting first patient, Danielle Barnett, with some flowers.

Garry Court, current Matron and Head of Clinical Services, flanked by [left] Nuala Howes, first Matron of the Hartswood Hospital and [right] Danielle Barnett, who had surgery on the day the hospital opened, 29 May 1983. Photo courtesy of Brentwood Gazette.

© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)