Luton and Dunstable Hospital invites you to its 80th birthday party!

1939: L&D nurses putting their best foot forward.
1939: L&D nurses putting their best foot forward.

Luton and Dunstable Hospital (L&D) is gearing up to mark its 80th anniversary and residents are invited to join in with the celebrations - and its search for former patients!

To mark the special day, on February 14 there will be live music, an exhibition tracing the hospital’s history, distinguished guests, a service of celebration, and an 80th birthday themed cake competition to be judged by a local celebrity.

There will also be “the legendary L&D cake sale”.

Meanwhile, during the run up to the party, the hospital is keen to hear from patients who have used the L&D over the decades.

An L&D spokeswoman said: “Maybe there’s a family with generations of children who have been born here, or who have worked here, who would be willing to get involved and share their stories.

“The icing on the cake would be if we could find a local resident who was a patient at the L&D when the hospital first opened in 1939.”

Because the NHS wasn’t created until 1948, the hospital was built, equipped and maintained as a voluntary organisation for the first nine years of its existence thanks to the generosity of the local community.

When the hospital was officially opened 80 years ago on February 14 by Queen Mary it had 170 beds, two operating theatres with 59 nurses all living on site, who were working around 52 hours a week and earning around £1.85 a month.

Fast forward 80 years and the hospital now boasts 660 beds, 15 operating theatres, and more than 4,300 staff including doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, administrative and support personnel, as well as 300 volunteers from the local area.

If you would like to tell your story to the hospital, please email communica
tions@ldh.nhs.uk or call 01582 497 408.

You can keep up to date with all the news about the L&D’s birthday plans via its website www.ldh.nhs.uk where you can enter the cake competition.