Looking back... Expanding services at Whiteabbey Hospital

Whiteabbey Hospital looked set to double in size within five years, according to a report in the East Antrim Times in June 1961.

Mr RS Sproule, chairman of the hospital’s management committee, indicated that the hospital had 325 beds, with the likelihood that that number would be increased to 750 - including 200 in the “general” hospital, 200 in the psychiatric unit and an out-patient department.

Dr BR Clarke, director of TB services, who distributed awards at the nurses’ annual prize distribution, said: “British nursing is admired and copied around the world. One hundred years ago, there were no trained nurses in the British Isles.”

However, in her report, matron VG King claimed that there was “prejudice” against state enrolled nurses.

She stressed that if nurses continue to be trained to the same standard, they could take their place “proudly” within the profession.

The matron was then congratulated on achieving the Commonwealth War Memorial Nurses Fund Scholarship which would enable her to travel to Canada and the United States. The McCaughey Award for Exceptional Skill went to Edith Morrow.