The Friends of Warminster Hospital


Digital Reminicsence Therapy & Patient WiFi
Today Dr Andrew Murrison MP, who came to Warminster hospital to inaugurate the new patients' WiFi system, and the Committee of the Friends of Warminster Hospital (FOWH), were treated to a presentation by Assistant Practioner Ciara Jenner of how the Digital Reminicsence Therapy Suite of IT based programs,  benefits patients with fading memories, by providing bespoke memories.

Practioner Ciara explained:
* Treatment can be on a "one to one" or "group" basis.
* A variety of helpful applications - Music / Images / Interaction / Family Messages / Video
* Providing "Meaningful Interaction" between patient & visitor or staff / volunteer.
* Enabling a new bond with the patient.
* System is especially good at calming down a distressed, emotional patient.
* The new WiFi now enables the system to be more effective as it is not soley reliant on installed software packages, but can access the World Wide Web and can now be truly "Person Centered".

Tony Jackson of the FOWH Committee: The Digital Reminiscence Therapy system is most effective when attached to the new Patient WiFi System which the Friends of Warminster Hospital have been pleased to contribute £5,000 to Great Western Hospital to provide the WiFi.

Sister AnnMarie Nuth: Longleat Ward relocation - AnnMarie advised that a project is about to start to relocate the ward downstairs for the benefit of patients. This would allow patients access to the garden in the summer months. Volunteers will be sought to help with the garden and anyone who feels they can help, are asked to contact
Suzanne Bennett, voluntary services coordinator.
01985) 220779 . . . . Monday, Wednesday, Fridays
Dr Andrew Murrison MP: Dr Murrison praised the project and practioner Ciara's presentation and enthusiasm, saying this brought back good memories of his early years as a part-time porter at Fryatt Memorial Hospital in Dovercourt, Essex during 1977 to 1979, where such dedication and innovation left its mark on him.



Cream Tea Party 31st May 2018
Despite torrential rain, the Friends of Warminster Hospital held a very successful Cream Tea Party last Thursday afternoon in Mr and Mrs Curtis’s lovely garden. The afternoon was arranged by Mrs Julie Hocken and her team of Committee members.

Realising that there might be rain later, the majority of those who attended arrived promptly at 2.30 pm when the Party started. Committee members and other helpers were soon hard at work providing cream scones and tea for the more than one hundred who braved the weather, some coming from a considerable distance. Mrs Pauline Scott’s excellent plant stall did swift business as did the Cakes and Bottle Tombola stalls. A number of gazebos provided shelter and the British stiff-upper-lip soon becoming evident with everybody present determined to make the best of it and enjoy themselves whatever the weather.

Within the limited two hours of the Party a remarkable £850 was raised for the Friends funds which will be used for the provision of equipment and services for patients of Warminster Community Hospital, the Avenue Surgery and Care in the Community not covered by the NHS.
Charles Lane

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Top Left - Preparing the scones   left to right: Mary Amin, Kate Menzies, Julie Hocken, Val Hewitt and Dawn Murray”
Top Right - Plant Stall   “ Mrs Pauline Scott sheltering amidst the greenery of her Plants Stall”.
Bottom - Garden scene   “ Before the deluge”

The Donations Board 2011 -2017
The Friends of Warminster Hospital have raised funds for a variety of Hospital related items and the board displays just some of the achievments of The Friends. Col Charles Lane - the current Chairman stands proudly beside the board which is located in the Hospital main entrance wating room.


11th April 2017 - Hospital Annual General Meeting 6th April
 The Friends held their AGM for 2016 at the Civic Centre on 6 April 2017. Before the meeting started Mrs Gill Withington and Mrs AnneMarie Nuth (Longleat Ward Manager) gave a very interesting update on the measures being taken to improve the experiences of dementia patients in the Hospital. The Reminiscence Therapy interactive system is now in place and will soon be enhanced by the availability of Wifi which the Friends are funding. Also a large mural is now hanging in the Ward Day Room – see below.

Those present were reminded that 2016 was the 150th Anniversary of the opening of the Cottage Hospital, on the same site as the present Community Hospital. 150 years and one day later a large photograph of the founder of the Cottage Hospital, the Rev. Sir James Erasmus Philipps, was unveiled by his great-great granddaughter, Nicky Philipps, the well-known portrait painter.

The Chairman reported that during 2016 the Friends had spent over £8,600 on services and equipment for the Hospital, for the two Surgeries and on local Community Care. As well as continuing to grant £3,000 each year to Alzheimer Support, the Friends funded an iCare Tonometer (£2,395) to further enhance the facilities in the busy Ophthalmology Outpatients Department. Other major items included ECG and Cryotherapy equipment and Paediatric Clinical Evaluation equipment for the Surgeries.

The Chairman thanked the people of Warminster and the surrounding area (even as far afield as Kent and Edinburgh) for their many generous donations and legacies that enabled the Friends to continue their support. The majority of these donors had had experience as patients, or their relatives, of the Hospital.

Lake Safari Mural
Mrs Christine Cornish has very kindly painted and given a colourful, panoramic mural of life around Longleat and its Safari Park. The Friends have had this enlarged and installed in the Longleat Ward Day Room. Through its immense detail and undemanding nature, this scene provides a very valuable stimulant to the mind and talking point for those who suffer from dementia. The mural was unveiled by the Mayor, Councillor Paul MacFarlane, on Saturday 8 April at the time of a well-attended Easter Party organised by Mrs AnneMarie Nuth, Longleat Ward Manager.

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Christmas Coffee Morning
The Friends of Warminster Hospital held their Christmas Coffee Morning in the Hospital on Friday 25 November 2016. This was organised by Mrs Pauline Scott, Vice-Chairman of the Friends, and a group of ladies on the Committee. There was a constant flow of visitors filling the Falls Room and enjoying coffee and a mince pie, the opportunity to take part in the raffle for Christmas prizes (including a magnificent Christmas Cake made by a Committee member), and to buy the Friends’ Christmas cards and other items. Raising just over £300 pounds in two hours was a magnificent result.
As well as the usually decorative range of Christmas cards, a special one has been produced in this anniversary year.

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All the cards may be bought at the Warminster Community Hub in the Central Car Park.

 News of Old

This week provides the 7,000th issue of the Warminster Journal. It includes an account of the history of the Journal which started life as The Warminster Miscellany in January 1854. There is a reproduction of a page proof for 3rd December 1887. This includes a paragraph:


NOVEMBER – Acknowledged with thanks: -

Eight Rabbits and Brace of Pheasants, C.N.P. Phipps Esq.; grapes, Mrs Elling;

old Linen and Sweets, a friend; hare, Mrs Redman; £1 1s, Mr Brodribb; half

sack of Potatoes, Mr J. Tucker; Rose Trees and Plants, J.Hinton Esq.; tin of

Brand’s Essence, Miss Powell; £2 10s., J. Smith Esq.; Imber Concert, £1 2s. 6d.

Those were the days!

150th Anniversary
As will be seen from our History page, Warminster Cottage Hospital opened in 1866, seven years after the Cottage Hospital Movement came into being in 1859. That Warminster had a Cottage Hospital so soon after the Movement’s inception was due to the foresight and energy of the Revd. James Erasmus Philipps (1824-1912), Vicar of Warminster from 1859 until retiring in the town in 1897. See our note on this gentleman.

The Revd. Philipps (perhaps not to his face, but known by many as: Jimmy Philipps) persuaded the Marquess of Bath to let a farmhouse and plot of land, at a peppercorn rent, for the purpose of converting to a cottage hospital. This was in April 1866, and the conversion was completed and the Cottage Hospital was opened with great ceremony by the Marchioness of Bath on 7 August 1866.

150 years and one day later, we celebrated this anniversary by inviting the Revd. Philipps’s great-great granddaughter, Nicky Philipps, the well-known portrait painter, to unveil a large contemporary photograph of her forebear. This large portrait photograph (signed by the Revd. Unveiling2 (Custom).JPGPhilipps), in its contemporary frame, was taken in about 1890 to 1900 by the firm of Messrs. Field at 3 High Street, Warminster. It had hung previously in Ivy House, another of the Revd. Philipps’s many philanthropic enterprises in the town. Mrs Susan Philipps, also a very accomplished artist, accompanied her daughter Nicky. They both said how much they appreciated being re-connected with the Revd. James Philipps and with Warminster.

The framed photograph will be prominently displayed in the now Warminster Community Hospital.

Digital Reminiscence Therapy
On 11 July 2016, Mrs Alex Herring, NHS Liaison Manager for My Dementia Improvement Network gave a presentation to members of the Hospital staff and the Friends of Warminster Hospital on a package of measures aimed to enhance interaction between dementia patients, carers and patients’ relatives. The package, being funded (£6,500) by the Friends comprises hardware and software providing an interactive system at the patient’s bedside. Essentially, having established the lifelong, pre-dementia interests of patients, software on bedside television screens can be used to provide a very wide range of programmes of music, old TV programmes, sports, quiz games, the countryside, the Armed Services, ornithology – whatever is required to stimulate the interest and trigger the good memories for patients. The screen can also be used for interactive games allowing patients to connect with each other, so reducing the anxiety and feeling of isolation often experienced by dementia patients.
The Friends are also funding a large mural for the Longleat Ward Day-Room, again to provide a more attractive and interesting ambience for all who use the Day-Room, particularly those patients with dementia. Should this prove successful, other murals, originated by Mrs Christine Cornish who has considerable experience in the field, will be added.

Chairman’s Report 2015
Our Financial Year ends on 31 December. 2015 has been a comparatively quiet year for the Friends.
During the summer of 2014, the 38-years-old X-Ray machine at the Hospital broke down and could not be repaired. There was considerable anxiety that this valuable resource might not be replaced. The Friends had previously been asked if, in the event of a breakdown, we would provide funds for new X-Ray equipment and infrastructure (improved shielding involving radical rebuilding work) costing approximately £165,000. This we were not prepared to do on the basis that our funds are not intended to replace services or equipment expected to be met by the NHS. Fortunately NHS funds were found and by early 2015 a complete new X-Ray machine and associated equipment had been installed. As will be seen in the Hon. Treasurer’s Report, we responded to a request to provide some additional enhancements not within the NHS schedule. The X-Ray is well used (about 90 patients per week) resulting in local people not having to travel too far for treatment - one the important aims of the Friends.
As well as our annual contribution of £3,000 to Alzheimer Support, which does such valuable work for those suffering from this condition, there was only one other major item of expenditure. This was to provide one of the Surgeries with three Cardiac Monitors for external use by their patients.
As will be seen from the Accounts opposite, Donations to the Friends are considerable, with the Longleat Ward Collection, amounting to well over £3,000. The Friends are immensely grateful for this support, and also for receiving many letters of appreciation of the staff of the Longleat Ward and everybody working in the Hospital.
We were saddened at the recent death of Mrs Norah McMinn who had been a Committee member for many years. As well as sincerely thanking all Committee members for their support during 2015, the Chairman would like to thank Mrs Pam Goodger (recently retired from the Committee) for her always enthusiastic contributions

11 September 2015
GinaQuincy-RodgerStocks.jpgThe new Small Detector Plate bought by the Friends (£16,500), and referred to in our previous News, is now in position.  This addition makes it much easier for Mrs Gina Quincey, Head of the X-ray Department in the Hospital, to x-ray small parts of the body and is sometimes more convenient for use with children. With other subsidiary items given by the Friends, the Department is now fitted with the most up-to-date X-ray equipment available and is being well used.  Gina said that as many as twenty people per day were attending, providing immediate results for local doctors and consultants at Bath RUH helping them to diagnose problems quickly and decide on the best course of action for each patient. Gina is pictured demonstrating the new detector plate on Rodger Stocks, treasurer of the Friends of Warminster Hospital  ( image courtesy of The Warminster Journal )

New X-ray Equipment for Warminster Community Hospital
minolta.jpgThe X-ray equipment at Warminster Hospital failed and could not be repaired last summer – it was 38 years old! It was necessary to undertake building work in the Hospital (which stared last January) before installing the now state-of-the-art equipment. The new X-ray equipment at Warminster Hospital was demonstrated to members of the Friends’ Committee last week by David Halfpenny from Konika Minolta, the makers, and Mrs Gina Quincey, the NHS Manager of the Hospital X-ray Department.
As a facility for the Hospital and for all local GPs, the new equipment is a giant step forward both through its technology and for being far more comfortable for patients to use. Images are immediately linked to the Royal United Hospital Radiology Department where consultants can give instant advice on patient prognosis and care.
As a result of the demonstration the Friends agreed to provide £16,500 for a Small Detector Plate (not provided by the NHS) that will make the X-raying of children and small areas of the body on adults much simpler, accurate and comfortable for the patient. Two other small items (£1,200) were also authorised.( image courtesy of David Halfpenny Konica / Minolta )

April 2015. Hospital Annual General Meeting for 2014.
The Meeting was preceded with a talk by Mr Pete Tilley from the Clinical Commissioning Group, a body that commissions (and pays for) NHS Services in West Wiltshire. While not being responsible for commissioning local GPs, the Group arranges equipment and services used by our Community Hospital, and in many other NHS areas of responsibilities. The audience had many lively questions for Mr Tilley, while there were also congratulations to his Group for renewing the Hospital X-ray Equipment which is now up-and-running.
The Chairman reported that as with 2013, 2014 had been a comparatively quiet year. Alzheimer Support had again been given a grant of £3,000, and the most expensive piece of equipment donated to the Longleat Ward was a Panoramic Tilt Chair and Cushions costing over £2,500; new televisions had also been provided for the Day Rooms in the Hospital.
The Chairman said that for many years a group of Committee Members and Friends had been running monthly Bring-and-Buy Coffee Mornings. In the past these enjoyable events had played an important part in raising funds for the Friends. Due to occasional uncertainty of a suitable room being available and declining attendance during the past two years, the Coffee Mornings have now ceased. There will now be an annual Summer Tea Party at the Hospital, the first on 16 May 2015, partly in place of the Coffee Mornings.
The Friends’ funds are in a healthy state due in part to two legacies received in the autumn from the late Mrs Maida Broadbridge and the late Mrs Sylvia Hibbs (both previously residents of Warminster), and also to the many generous donations from the public during 2014 amounting to more than £3,500.
Finally the Chairman congratulated Mrs Gill Withington on her promotion within the NHS. During her period as Ward Manager of Longleat Ward she introduced many improvements and maintained an extremely high standard of care for all her patients. Mrs Withington is now to supervise the wards of three other Hospitals, as well as at Warminster Community Hospital, so we will continue to benefit from her dedication.

April 2015 - Grateful Thanks For Paediatric Pulse Oximeter
The quote below is courtesy of Smallbrook Surgery website


December 2014 Christmas Bazaar

 xmasbazzar2014.jpgThis was the second Christmas Bazaar held by the Friends at Warminster Civic Centre. Busier than last year and with more stalls, the morning was a great success.  The only sad note was that Audrey Grey who had spent much time and effort organising the event fell ill shortly before the day and could not see the fruits of her great labours:  get well soon, Audrey.

There were stalls for books, toys, cakes, a bottle tombola, clothes, Christmas cards, flowers, bric a brac, a men’s table, accessories, among the many other attractions.  The large and friendly hall was well filled with a steady stream of supporters throughout the morning.  Centre stage, there was raffle for a magnificent Christmas Cake with ticket sales attracting over £190.  More than £1,300 was raised on the day through the sterling work of the stall holders.

Additionally a Friends Christmas Draw, where tickets were sold in the Three Horseshoes Walk and at Morrisons Store the week before, as well as on the Bazaar day, produced just over £1,500 net.  As well as two cash prizes, the local business community provided shop vouchers, keep fit and childrens’ play vouchers, taxi vouchers, free family entry to Longleat, trips to London by rail and coach, free MOT, etc, for the Draw. The Friends would like to say how much they appreciated their support.  

June 2014 - Memoriam to Valerie Wheeler
Valerie Wheeler.jpgThe sudden death of Valerie Wheeler came as an immense shock to all the Friends of Warminster Hospital.      Valerie had been a member of our Committee since 1987, if not before, and our Membership Secretary for the past three years. Living for many years in neighbouring Horningsham before moving into Warminster, she regularly attended meetings and helped with the outlying villages’ major contributions to the Annual Warminster Hospital Fetes.
While a busy farmer’s wife, Valerie always had time to help others in a wide variety of ways, as well as organising the Horningsham Poppy Appeal.  With her quiet yet warm and friendly personality, enormous sense of fun, she was talented in very many ways, not least as a member of the West Woodlands Church choir and a principal player in the annual Shows put on by the Woodlanders. Since living in Warminster she became a stalwart in helping at the Hospital with the monthly Coffee Mornings as well as being ready to turn her hand to a
nything else asked of her. Warminster Mayor Paul Batchelor is seen on right handing Valerie a 20 year Poppy Appeal certificate.( image courtesy of Warminster Journal )
gold cross.jpgOn the 30th of June, her husband, Percy, and the family gave her a wonderful Thanksgiving Service at an overflowing West Woodlands Church. It was a beautiful day.

June 2014
The Community Hospital has recently taken delivery of a number of items (about £3,000-worth) bought by the Friends and aimed at increasing the comfort of frail patients. They are mainly for use in the Longleat Ward. A major item (nearly £2,000) is a Panorama Tilt in Space Chair: movable about the ward, this ‘armchair’ is fitted with adjustable and soft cushioning providing comfortable support wherever it is particularly needed. Other items are microbead cushions of various shapes and sizes that can be positioned for lying or sitting patients to again provide soft support where it is required and which help to avoid pressure sores.

November 2013 -Christmas Bazaar

XmasBazaar2013-a.jpgIn past years the Friends’ have been holding their Christmas Bazaars in the Community Hospital. In late November last year we decided to expand and increase our visibility by mounting the Bazaar in the shiny, almost new, Warminster Civic Centre.XmasBazaar2013-b.jpg This proved a good move with much more space for every kind of Christmas stall and game with a large seating area for coffee and tea for the very many local people who attended. Audrey Grey and Pauline Scott were the organisers with all members of the committee and others playing a part in making it the great success that it was. Together with a Christmas Draw with, a £100 first prize, the Friends raised more than £3.000 on the morning. The Warminster Journal and the Wiltshire Times did us proud in their reports of the event.
A long way ahead, but note the date of Saturday 22 November in your diaries for the Christmas Bazaar,

June 2013
Four Volunteers at the Hospital received long service awards from the Director of Workforce and Education at Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Swindon. Sheila Pomeroy ( on right ) has been working on wards, the trolley shop and as a clerical volunteer for the past 28 years. Previously acting as a Volunteer at Sambourne Hospital, she started helping at the Community Hospital in 1993 and was instrumental in setting up the much valued trolley shop. Knowing her enthusiasm, professionalism and caring nature we are very sad that she is leaving due to family commitments, and wish her well. Three other Volunteers: Edith Dicks, Ingrid Marsden and Iris Davies were also awarded their 5 year voluntary service certificates at the same.

Tuesday 5th March 2013
Lord Bath opens new eye scanner in 2013Lord Bath opens new eye scanner in 2013
Our new £50,000 eye scanner was officially unveiled at Warminster Community Hospital by Lord Bath. The scanner now in use enables consultants from Salisbury to monitor and part-treat macular degeneration and glaucoma locally.
We are very happy that the scanner is now up and running, sparing patients long journeys and allow the hospital to run two all-day clinics each week. This will make a big difference to people suffering from eye problems in the area, as those diagnosed with macular degeneration require monthly check-ups.
It was clear that there was a problem from the number of people in south Wiltshire being referred to Salisbury and we are confident that this machine will provide great benefits and really will be a valuable piece of equipment.
We cannot thank the people of Warminster and the surrounding area enough for their generosity,as well as those who played a part including the Elizabeth Frankland Moore & Star Foundation, the Trowbridge Town Trust and the Westbury Branch RAOB.

* We are indebted to the editors of The Warminster Journal & The Wiltshire Times for the use of photographs and part of the narrative.

November 2012
We achieved our target of £36,000 in November through the generosity of many individuals and trusts, a successful silent auction and raffle. Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust added £15,000 to buy the Cirrus HD-OCT 5000 Eye Scanner.
Consultant ophthalmologist Meon Lamont from Salisbury, ( pictured centre right ) said: “This equipment will save those with eye problems around 13 trips a year to Salisbury and some will be able to walk down the street for treatment, it’s not a new treatment, but having this very sophisticated camera will make life a lot easier for those who need it and it is crucial for analysing degeneration of the eye, it takes incredibly accurate pictures of the different parts of the eye and shows us things that we wouldn’t normally see. It also stores results of previous examinations so that they can be compared.
Information courtesy of The Wiltshire Times

September 2012
We launched an appeal to buy an Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) Eye Scanner for the Ophthalmology Outpatients Department at the Hospital.appeal2012 It followed on from the purchase of a Visual Field Analyser by the Friends in 2011, requested by the senior opthalmology Consultant of Salisbury District Hospital.
Warminster Hospital will from this month also be running eye clinics more regularly, once a week, in the out-patients department.
Richard Antcliff, consultant ophthalmic surgeon at the RUH, said: “Attending ophthamology clinics, particularly for conditions such as age-related macular degeneration, which requires monthly follow-ups, is very demanding for patients and anything that can be done to lighten the travel and cost burden is very welcome.”
The Friends are contributing to the cost of the Scanner from their funds, and will be approaching the town council, area board and local opticians for contributions.

July 2012
We discovered that between January and July 2012, nearly 600 referrals were made by local GP's to Salisbury District Hospital - Opthalmology Department, with 333 from Warminster, 99 from Westbury, 107 from Trowbridge and 58 from Mere. An equal number were referred to RUH Bath.

©The Friends of Warminster Hospital-Registered Charity No: 207384