Founded in 1123. A hospital in London.

The year comes to an end. I did a lot of (healthcare) projects in 2016 – like the worldwide premiere of the botscamp. When I looked back these days what happened I was thinking about a timeline, about history. As the blogger for unusual, disruptive or remarkable hospitals I had the idea to look for the worldwide oldest hospital which is still active.

First I found the Ospedale Santa Maria Nuova in Florence, the capital of the italian region of tuscany. Opened in 1288 it is one of six hospitals in the city area and the only one in the historic quarter. Now partly a museum as well. Unfortunately without a true website. Seems that Leonardo da Vinci was a patient around 1507 there.
santamarianuova   santamarianuova_today

But I suppose the oldest hospital in the world and still active is located in northwest central London – Smithfield.
The St Bartholomew’s Hospital is part of Barts Health NHS today was founded 1123. Like in Florence – there is a museum in the historic north wing too. Read about the stunning timeline here.
«St Bartholomew’s was founded, with the Priory of St Bartholomew, in 1123 by Rahere, formerly a courtier of Henry I. A vow was made while sick on a pilgrimage to Rome and a vision of St Bartholomew, inspired Rahere to found a priory and a hospital for the sick poor at Smithfield in London.»
barts_1720  st_bartholomews_hospital_today

In seven years from now St Bartholomew will celebrate 900 years hospital history – medicine, surgery, nursing and more. What a huge amount of historical medicine, which is still researched around the world and in this case the result from the meticolous work of many historians is shown in the nearby museum.

Todays services of 23 wards and more at a glance:
– the true core of the hospital opened in 2015 – the Barts Heart Centre
10 theatres (natural daylight), 10 catheter labs, 250 general cardiac beds &
58 critical care beds
1’100 staff
Approximately 80’000 patients a year, about 1000 lifes saved
Europe’s largest specialised cardiovascular centre, 9 floors high
Reduce noise methods
Covering 3 million people
3 minutes video about this state-of-the-art centre
barts+heart_centre.png  Barts_Heart.png

– the hospital itself provides
290 beds
2’200 staff (Barts Health has a total of 16’000 staff)
Fill rate 84.1 %
NO A&E services, accident and emergency department
More details in the ward list
Overnight accommodation for relatives and carers, up to 26 guests
as a city hospital they were challenged to consolidate the existing, widely spread hospital
operations into a single purpose built unit – like to set up a new energy centre and to
provide enough infrastructure to cover the tasks as a teaching hospital
Barts_Reception.png  barts_surgery.png

All details in the Quality Accounts and Annual Report 2015/16 of Barts Health. Some interesting facts about this group:
– formal complaints went down from 3’028 in 2014/15 to 2’505 in 2015/16
– 2’000+ staff were supported to be more active in the workplace
– from the «innovation department» for instance development of clear career pathways
or use of technology to support virtual and interactive education
– 3’000 staff trained in waste management
– 6’000 patients every day
– deliver 16’500 babies
– 167’000 inpatients and 455’000 emergency cases a year

Gosh. Being a curious nature I just wanted to have a look at the presumably oldest hospital in the world which is still active. Then I found this development from the very start of the High Medieval Ages until today and about the founder Rahere of the Priory of St. Bartholomew and the hospital – a former courtier of the King Henry I., known to be a science aficionado.

These buildings saw many things and people come and go. If there would have been cams at this hospital it would have created one of the most fascinating documentary in the healthcare development since 1123.

What a history and confusing mountain of facts and data. Love it.

Have a cozy christmas time.
Maurice Codourey

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