Stoke Mandeville Hospital
Stoke Mandeville Hospital is a large National Health Service hospital within Aylesbury Urban Area to the south of the town of Aylesbury, near the village of Stoke Mandeville in Buckinghamshire. It is part of Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust. The hospital's National Spinal Injuries Centre is one of the largest specialist spinal units in the world, and the pioneering rehabilitation work carried out there by Sir Ludwig Guttmann led to the development of the Paralympic Games.

The hospital started out in life in the 1830s. The village of Stoke Mandeville was very badly hit by the cholera epidemic that swept across England in the early part of the decade, and so a cholera hospital was established on the parish border between Stoke Mandeville and Aylesbury. It was established out of monies provided by both parishes, but was built separately from both places as cholera was very contagious and the inhabitants were anxious to avoid infection. By the start of the Twentieth century the hospital had developed into an Infectious Diseases Hospital, treating all infections, not just cholera. However the town of Aylesbury was growing, and the distance between the town and the hospital was getting smaller, and before long people with infectious diseases could no longer be treated at the hospital because the risk of infecting the local community was too great. During the Second World War the hospital was used to treat military casualties, and was expanded during this time to cater for the extra patients, so as to support the nearby Royal Bucks Hospital, in the centre of Aylesbury. It was during this time that spinal injuries were first treated at the hospital. In 1948 the NHS was founded and all operations were moved from the Royal Bucks to Stoke Mandeville, making it the main hospital in Aylesbury. Aylesbury had, by this time, grown to such an extent that the hospital became a part of the town. On the day of the opening of the 1948 Summer Olympics in London, Stoke Mandeville Hospital organised a sports competition for British World War Two veteran patients with spinal cord injuries. The games were held again at the same location in 1952, and Dutch veterans took part alongside the British, making it the first international competition of its kind. These Stoke Mandeville Games have been described as the precursors of the Paralympic Games. The Paralympics were subsequently officialised as a quadrennial event tied to the Olympic Games, and the first official Paralympic Games, no longer open solely to war veterans, were held in Rome in 1960. Throughout the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s the hospital was added to extensively and the new Accident and Emergency Unit was opened. Also during this period Stoke Mandeville Stadium was developed alongside the hospital and is the National Centre for Disability Sport in the United Kingdom, enhancing the hospital as a world centre for paraplegics and spinal injuries. In the 1970s and 1980s the hospital received support from its biggest campaigner Jimmy Savile who gave it a high profile on his television appearances, and raised an immense amount of money for the hospital. He was knighted for the amount of time he donated. The hospital was also visited during this time by many distinguished guests, particularly Diana, Princess of Wales, who opened the new International Spinal Injuries Centre when it was refurbished. Today the hospital is still growing, with a new maternity unit opened recently, and plans to refurbish the Accident and Emergency Unit and further extend the hospital. New wings have been built in recent years. These have been funded by the Private Finance Initiative (PFI). The PFI is a scheme where the Government contract a private company to design, build, finance and manage a hospital, school, prison or other public service. The company that does this is usually given a 30 year contract. The company that is contracted at Stoke Mandeville Hospital is the multinational Sodexho. Sodexho is also contracted to provide housekeeping, domestics, catering, vending, portering, non-emergency patient transport, telecommunications, car parking, security, maintenance, help desk (non-technical) and switchboard. All of the portering, catering, domestic, maintenance, security and help desk staff are employed by Sodexho rather than the NHS Trust. Sodexho also employ a number of managers at Stoke Mandeville.


The table above shows the adult wards at Stoke Mandeville Hospital Stoke Mandeville hospital hopes to help educate children in first aid and runs regular school tours.

Ward Number/Name Speciality 1 Orthopaedic rehab 2 Old age rehab 4 Trauma and Orthopaedics 5 Acute medical 6 Acute surgical 7 Plastic surgery 8 Neuro rehab 9 Gynae 10/Emergency assessment unit (EAU) Emergency admissions 20 Acute medical 22 Discharge lounge, DVT clinic, overflow Eye ward Ophthalmology and overflow