The Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Obstetric Hospital - London.
Named after the 1st female doctor in Britain, The Elizabeth Garrett Anderson hospital was opened on the 28th of May 1926 by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. Elizabeth Garrett Anderson was born in 1836 and as well as paving her way as a pioneer in medicine, her strong work ethic lead her to become the first female Mayor and Magistrate in Britain.
Home to UCL's obstetrics, gynaecology and neonatal services the EGA is not to be confused with the original Elizabeth Garrett Anderson hospital which was completed in 1889 and is located a few miles away along Euston Road.
The hospital would have once been a hive of activity bustling with midwives, nurses, women in labour and at the centre of all of this, tiny newborn creatures some no larger than the size of a grown man's palm. Both of the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson's were run by women to cater for the needs of women (with great support from men too) and have maintained this high level of patient care and consideration to this day.
Prior to my visit a fire had broken out in the basement leading to a large proportion of the tunnel network undergoing renovation. The tunnels run underground from the EGA to the University College Hospital, nearly straight into the new-build mortuary which is located near the basement level. Since the EGA nursed newly born babies there was no mortuary as such for the hospital. Instead a chute served for disposal which ran down into the basement, where the maxillofacial laboratory was also located to ensuring a high level of privacy for its patients.
A pneumatic tube system runs throughout the underground maintenance service tunnels propelling prescriptions in between various hospitals which are also connected via the underground network. The noise travels overhead through the cylindrical pipelines like hundreds of vacuum propelled rockets and disappears into the vast tunnels. Much to my disappointment an underground passage than ran to an old Ear hospital just across the road had been breeze blocked. Gradual closure of the EGA began in 2008 and departments have since been relocated within a dedicated wing in the new high rise UCLH hospital.
I would like to thank to Jean and Chris for their hospitality and time during my fleeting visit to the EGA during its last moments of breath.
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