At the time of my visit it was quite clear that the demo team had been there in full force, with 90% of the former hospital being reduced to nothing. What remained has been included in my report. Unfortunately there are no externals from on site as I was disturbed by an unmarked van which pulled up outside the buildings, with the driver proceeding to pile wooden blocks into the back. I saw a fire excape at the end of the (very soggy) corridor I was on and made my way along to it to find it was locked. Quietly does it back through the building and off.
From the BBC Domesday record in 1983: “This was built in 1888 originally as a hospital for Infectious Diseases such as scarlet fever, diphtheria, typhoid, tuberculosis and later polio.
During World War 1, injured soldiers who had been sent home were housed in two pavilions built on the East side of Benfield Road. Originally temporary, they were not demolished until about 7 yrs (which would be 1976) ago. The hospital, now contracted to 192 beds, has Eye Ear Nose and Throat departments.
It is expected to be used only for looking after old people in future, with operations being carried out at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle which has also the nearest Accident Department”.
Fast forward a bit to 2011: The two remaining wards at Walkergate Hospital shut for the final time in 2011
Ten elderly ward 4 patients, many of whom have been cared for at the hospital for a number of years, are to be moved to nursing homes.
The ward provides longer-term and palliative care services for patients with chronic conditions.
It also provides respite care for patients for one or two-week periods.
Patients are often transferred to the ward from the Royal Victoria Infirmary or Freeman Hospital if they need longer term nursing care.
It is thought the closure will take place this summer.
The services offered by ward 3, a rehabilitation facility that helps patients regain their confidence in mobility and tasks such as washing, dressing and taking medication, will be moved to the Freeman.
It is thought that the staff from both wards will move to roles at other hospitals.
A spokeswoman for Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “The elderly care accommodation at Walkergate Hospital dates back to the 1980s and after 130 years of sterling service is no longer appropriate.
“For some time now plans have been progressed to bring about alternative arrangements that serve to reflect the environment we should be providing either in the community or in the hospital.
“The reaction to change is understandable but what is to happen over the coming months is about overall quality improvement and for no other reason.”
One relative of a patient, who did not wish to be named, said: “There are a lot of extremely unhappy relatives of patients who have valued the care given to their loved ones on ward 4 at Walkergate.
“The staff are a genuinely caring and close-knit team. The care which they provide is second to none. As for the patients, the impact on them doesn’t bear thinking about.
“As it is, they’re going to suddenly find themselves in some nursing home, in strange surroundings with strange people – a recipe for disaster.”
Transix 800 S x-ray generator by GEC Medical (General Electric Company)
GEC Medical Stylos x-ray tube stand, smashed to the ground
The x-ray power supply, 1000 volts AC
GEC Medical adjustable x-ray table
Kodak X-Omatic Identification Camera. This was used to put patient information onto an x-ray film by exposing a small corner of the film with the patients ID details
Kodak Automixer II. This was used to prepare the chemicals used for x-ray film. Developer would go in the left, fixer on the right with the controls in the middle. Each side could hold 40 litres of chemicals
I have no idea what Lokas is, they were all labelled as such but with different dates. Whatever was in them had by now turned solid. These were in the x-ray developing room.
Oxygen and Nitrous Oxide, outside the operating theater. The theater its self was empty.
I was getting quite peckish by now, but someone had cleaned out the vending machine
Room 13, it wasn’t very lucky
I’m hoping that’s tomato sauce on the wall of the General Office
A fancy bathtub. The water looked like someone used it to wash in after they shit themselves trialing the Jetpack Toilet
Prototype Jetpack Toilet, unfortunately it will no longer fly
This was the day room, doesn’t look very inviting now does it
Thanks for looking!