This July, Oxford Hospitals Charity joined staff at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford to celebrate the 80th anniversary of this much-loved hospital.

The charity team brought in cakes and an ice cream van to the hospital site, to mark the special occasion with hospital staff and volunteers.

From the post room to portering, renal to radiotherapy, the first activity of the day was to hand out cupcakes to as many staff members as possible. 

In the afternoon hospital teams were treated to ices from an ice cream van especially funded by the charity. The atmosphere was fantastic, with staff members getting in on the action and taking back ice creams for team members who couldn’t leave their departments.  

Prof. Meghana Pandit, Chief Executive Officer, Oxford University Hospitals said: “Happy 80th birthday to the Churchill Hospital. I would like to thank all members of staff, past and present who deliver excellent and compassionate care to the populations that we serve”.

Ella Cooper, Programme Officer at Oxford Hospitals Charity, coordinated the day's events and added:

“After the testing times we’ve had in our hospitals of late, it’s lovely to be able to celebrate something really special with staff. This marks a very important day in the hospital’s history and the charity felt that this gesture would be a great way to commemorate it and to thank the staff for all the important work that they do here.” 

The charity was kindly helped throughout the day by Donna-Sue Wright, RCN Convener at the Churchill, who played a pivotal role in helping to make sure all areas of the hospital were reached. Commenting on the day's events she said:

“The day created such a buzz around the hospital. It was great to see staff enjoying their cakes and ice creams provided by the Oxford Hospitals Charity. This hospital holds a very special place in my heart and I was glad to be able to do my part in helping with the celebrations.” 

Wartime History

Steeped in history, the hospital was founded by the Ministry of Health as an Emergency Medical Service hospital for local air raid casualties then leased to the medical services of the United States Army. 

When the American authorities left, Oxford City Council took over the buildings and it was reopened as a conventional hospital. Images from its wartime past can be found throughout the Churchill site.

Fast forward to the 21st century the Churchill Hospital is now a centre of excellence for cancer services and other specialities, including renal services and transplant, clinical and medical oncology, dermatology, chest medicine and palliative care. 

2009 saw the completion of a major new development at the Churchill Hospital consisting of an integrated cancer and haematology centre, and surgery and diagnostics centre.

Oxford Hospitals Charity contributed £3 million towards the creation of the new centre and continues to provide funding for specialist medical equipment, major improvements to wards and departments, and support for patients and hospital staff.

Douglas Graham, CEO of Oxford Hospitals Charity added: ‘The whole charity team would like to thank the staff past and present at the Churchill for all the hard work and devotion they have provided to their patients over the last eighty years. 

"Our thanks also go to the Trust volunteers, Happy Cakes and Oxford Ices for all their help.

"And of course to our incredible charity supporters, for their donations, fundraising and gifts in Wills that helps us fund so much across the Churchill - from little treats for staff, like the celebrations you have read about - through to specialist equipment and support for our patients. Here’s to the next 80 years of fantastic care for patients"

If you would like to make a difference for patients across the Churchill follow the links below today.

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