You are here > Services > St. Andrews Centre for Plastic Surgery and Burns > St Andrews - A Brief History
St Andrews resized

St Andrews - A Brief History

St Andrews takes its name from the hospital in Billericay where the burns and plastics unit was originally located. St Andrew's Hospital started life as a Victorian workhouse and become the regional plastic surgery and rehabilitation unit following the opening of a new general hospital in Basildon.

These units opened in May 1973. By the early 1990s the hospital buildings were in need of extensive redevelopment and after long negotiations on 1 April 1995 the St. Andrews Centre become part of the Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust. The first removal vans arrived at St. Andrews in April 1998 and the first batch of staff were transferred to new quarters at Broomfield Hospital.

The internationally renowned St Andrews regional plastic surgery service now covers a population of 3.2 million and the regional burns service services a population of 9.8 million.

St Andrews General Hospital was replaced with a Regional Plastic Surgery and a Rehabilitation Unit in May 1973. The wards for plastic surgery patients required alterations. Langdon Ward aquired part of the Casualty Department, Burstead Ward was converted into a Children's Ward and Villerica and Brooks Wards were altered to incorporate large treatment rooms. The Unit had 67 beds.

Here are some other key moments in St Andrews history...

  • The Maud Cobley Study Centre (Miss maud Cobley, S.R.N., was Matron of the Isolation Hospital, Mayflower Hospital, in the 1930's / 1940's), which was the Children;s Ward from 1927-1973, was opened in 1974.

  • In 1976, a six bedded Maxillo-Facial (face, facial bones and jaw) Ward was opened. The Plastic Surgery Unit then had 73 beds.

  • A modern purpose built Day Hospital, designed by Mr. F G. Frizzell, was opened in 1977, used by both in and out patients.

  • Department of Geriatric Medicine in the Basildon and Thurrock District established in 1977, the St Andrew's Unit is a very important part of this department. There was an increase of beds from 53 to 58.

  • St Andrew's Hospital Plastic Surgery Course commenced in 1975, for Registered and Enrolled Nurses. A Hospital Badge, designed by two members of the St Andrew's staff, was presented to successful examination candidates on completion of this course. This course was discontinued at the end of 1977 and a Joint Board of Clinical Nursing Studies Course for Plastic Surgery was introduced in 1981.

  • The Health Centre was opened in 1980, and the Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy Departments were enlarged and modernised in 1982.

  • A high dependency unit of two beds, attached to Brooks Ward, was opened in 1982. This unit was made possible by a generous legacy left by Mrs Ethel Coulter.

  • The Regional Burns Unit was officially opened in December 1982 by the Duchess of Kent. This unit was built because of the foresight of the Plastic Surgeons at St Andrew's, the hard work of the Burn appeal Committee and the enthusiasm of the public who collected £400,000 towards its cost.