Walking around Haslar is pretty sad now - loads of empty wards and buildings. All is racing towards the Military Withdrawal from Haslar next year. A lot of services have moved across to QAH, Building 80 has decanted to Alecto Block in FBH and the Senior Rates' Mess now houses civilian staff!
Wandering around a couple of months ago I had to go through the SRs' Mess and I felt guilty being there! There must have been some pretty big party nights there - the huge bar with dance floor and disco lights is all still there (disused), and there is still a peg-in board downstairs with "Senior Rates Borne in RNH HASLAR" at the top of it! The Mess Pres board is one of the few things which still exists in the Mess - surprised it's still there to be honest!
The med services will be farmed out to certain NHS hospitals so they will have MOD wings.It a wrong move and will be to the detriment of the Standard of care in my opinion.Cant see Army,Navy and RAF MA's getting along.To big a difference in training.They should keep 1 hospital for the Army and 1 for the RAF and Haslar for the RN.
Military hospitals in principle are great but they are incompatible with modern medicine. For a start we do not have enough MOs never mind nurses and MBRs to run a decent hospital on our own, with all relevant specialties. Military medicine needs most surgical specialties and plenty of medical specialties, and the best way to keep our people trained and skilled is for them to work with the NHS where the caseload is much better. A neurosurgeon who only sees one case a year would be a pretty crap surgeon.
I don't like it, and would love to wind the clock back 20 years, but we can't do that. I agree the Service ethos has gone now that we've moved into MDHUs (Ministry of Defence Hospital Units), which are fully integrated triservice units in NHS hospitals. Believe it or not, the ethos loss is much worse for MOs and nurses than MBRs.
I would say the majority of those in the branch would like to see a more RN-driven medical service but, for better or worse, purple days are here!
The Haslar dit below was written many moons ago by an old oppo of mine, Mick Jones, from the Merseyside Submarine Association. Ironic that today Mick is himself in dry dock in Fazarkerly Hospital in Liverpool with a life threatening illness. But no matter what, you still cannot keep this old Irish matelots sense of humour down, as is well illustrated in the following dit:
It was Christmas Day in Haslar, the whitewashed halls were hung
with merry festive greetings, all the carols had been sung.
When Matron came to the Men's Ward door, and in a voice so clear
she announced a Royal visitor to bring them Christmas cheer.
Princess Margaret stepped into the room, her tiara on her head
dispensing royal goodwill, as she moved from bed to bed.
She asked each man his trouble, as she moved on through the halls
till she came to the bed of the man who said, he had boils upon his balls.
The Sick Bay Tiffies giggled, and the Matron's face went scarlet red
as she pulled Her Royal Highness away from that patients bed.
"Who gave him sherry trifle, and started off his frolics?
when I get back I'll give him worse than boil's upon his bollocks."
It was Christmas night in the wee small hours, and not a patient stirred
when Matron came to the bed of the man, who had said that awful word.
She pulled the blankets off him, and then upon him she started
"How dare you tell a Royal Princess about your boily parts?"
"If ever again in future we're visited by one of our Royal select
and they ask you what your problem is, please show them some respect.
Think about our reputation, and don't make of us a spectacle
just say they're on your hands or knees, but never on your testicles."
It was Christmas Day in the ward once more, and joy was in the air
once more a Royal visitor, the Queen, herself was there.
Her Majesty walked down the ward, amidst the snap of Xmas cracker's
till she came to the bed of the man who said, he had boils upon his knackers.
When she asked him what his trouble was, his face was full of woe
then inspiration struck him, and he said "Boils upon my toe's".
"How very sad" the Queen replied, "How very sad Oh! dear"
"they must have spread down from your balls, since our Maggie came last year."