Haslar hospital opened in 1753
Haslar Hospital closure march
Gosport's Royal Hospital Haslar, over 250 years old and the last military hospital in the UK, marks the beginning of the transition that will lead to its eventual closure in 2009 with a march and ceremony in Gosport.
The Royal Hospital Haslar in Gosport is the last military hospital in the UK and will be closed in 2009.
Ahead of that, the hospital’s military care connections have begun to cease, and the first stage of this transition was an extension of the Freedom of the Borough of Gosport - currently held by Haslar - to include its replacement, the new Ministry of Defence Hospital Unit (MDHU), Portsmouth.
Haslar has been an operational hospital for over 250 years, first providing medical care to the Royal Navy, and latterly, to the Army and RAF, as well as civilians too.
The wards of Haslar were always busy
Haslar's running will be transferred over to Portsmouth Hospital Trust, but the 200 Forces Personnel currently based at Haslar will remain at the site until its final closure in 2009.
Up until this time, the hospital will still be busy with work for Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust.
Then, in 2009, the Service Personnel remaining at Haslar will move to the new MDHU at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth.
Marking the changeover was the Freedom Parade, beginning at the gates of Haslar and led into Gosport by the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines, Plymouth.
After a ceremony at the Timespace on the Millennium Promenade, where the Freedom of the Borough of Gosport was extended to include the new MDHU, the Procession then marched onto the Town Hall.
Here, a salute by Service Personnel from Haslar was taken by the Mayor of Gosport, Councillor June Cully.
End of an era
She says, "It's the end of an era for Gosport, for just as servicemen and women have relied on Haslar’s excellent staff and medical treatment during times of peace and war, we as a community have come to rely on them.
"We all knew we could rely on Haslar and her trustworthy staff."
The Mayor was joined at the Timespace by the last Commanding Officer of Haslar, Surgeon Captain James Campbell, who now hands over the running of the hospital to Commander Bill Durning of the MDHU.
Haslar march - route
The procession was an opportunity for the people of Gosport, and for the many who have received care at Haslar, to show their gratitude for the years of service the hospital has given its patients.
The march reflects on the hospital's history, and marks the beginning of the transition that will lead to its permanent closure - The Royal Hospital Haslar, Britain's last military hospital.
last updated: 12/03/2008 at 13:14