Hounslow Rotary’s relationship with West Middlesex Hospital and the general health of the Borough goes back well before the start of the National Health Service.
One of the founder members of our Club was the Medical Officer of Health for the Borough. EHT Nash was a pioneer in public health. According to his obituary, Nash was no ordinary official: "The fire of the enthusiast burned bright in his eye as each year added to his age". He had concluded that many of the nutritional problems of the nation could be solved if it were taught to buy better and to cook more skilfully. He thus wrote a sixpenny, 183-page Dr Nash's cookery book, published in 1937 by Simpkin Marshall-but only after he learned to be a first-class cook. Nash was one of the first officials to commence immunization against diphtheria on a large municipal scale. Orthodontics was a further interest.
In 1934 the Club was instrumental in establishing a Council of Social Service in the Borough, which later contributed significantly to the club’s war work. After Rotary House was donated to Hounslow Hospital as a post-war nurses' training centre and leisure facility, Hounslow Rotary club continued to support nursing staff, hosting overseas nurses and giving prizes throughout the 50s and 60s, providing lifesaving equipment to the maternity wards and toys to the children's wards. It has also supported the Mulberry Centre the hospital’s specialist cancer treatment centre.
Calling on its diverse members and surrounding communities, Hounslow Rotary drew on its international connections to give fellowship and friendship to staff and patients. With the advent of Covid, Hounslow Club once again turned out to support nursing staff by providing home-cooked Filipino food.
In celebrating its centenary recently the hospital highlighted the close relationship it has forged with its local community, and members of Hounslow Rotary Club have been with it all the way - even volunteering to help research the landmark centenary exhibition.
In attendance at the opening of the exhibition by the Mayor of Hounslow, were former and current long-serving members of staff, all of whom were involved in the curation of the exhibition and who make up the community that has hugely contributed to the hospital’s astounding history and its role as the heart of the local area. Also present was Hounslow Rtn Brigitte , one of the volunteer researchers for the project.The exhibition will remain a permanent feature in the hospital’s entrance, showcasing the key moments of West Middlesex Hospital’s past and future plans.
Hounslow Rotary will continue to look for every opportunity to help serve its local community and those who care for it. Plans are already underway to create a new Ambulatory Diagnostic Centre which will mean more patients can be treated locally and avoid travelling further afield.
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back Rotarians have put Service Above Self for more than a century. Through the Avenue of Community Service, Hounslow Rotarians work with others to give back to the place we live or work in.