Retro: Hospital’s pioneering spinal injuries work

Lodge Moor Hospital, Sheffield'c1981
Lodge Moor Hospital, Sheffield'c1981
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A Sheffield hospital that is probably best known for its pioneering spinal injuries work opened to cope with a very different type of patient.

Lodge Moor started in 1888 as an isolation hospital based in wooden buildings well outside the city on Redmires Road.

Lodge Moor Hospital, Sheffield. 'For the second time in two days, a critically injured patient was landed by helicopter at Lodge Moor Hospital. (the accident happened at Great Yarmouth) being carried to the hospital from the landing pad which was used for the very first time - 9th August 1967

Lodge Moor Hospital, Sheffield. 'For the second time in two days, a critically injured patient was landed by helicopter at Lodge Moor Hospital. (the accident happened at Great Yarmouth) being carried to the hospital from the landing pad which was used for the very first time - 9th August 1967

The first stone buildings were added in 1892 and the landmark tower, which was first used as a home for resident porters, was built in 1903, along with six stone South Wards.

The Central and North blocks were added in 1928. Finally, the old wooden huts burned down in 1935 and were replaced by brick buildings.

By the 1920s the hospital was big enough to cope with 434 patients with infectious diseases like diphtheria or smallpox.

During the 1925 smallpox epidemic the hospital also took over the former military camp at Redmires.

Sheffield boxer, Brian Anderson, is seen at the side of the hole in which a time capsule is about to be buried at Lodge Moor Hospital, Sheffield, to mark the hospital centenary.  The contents will depict the life and work of the hospital.'Picture 10th January 1987

Sheffield boxer, Brian Anderson, is seen at the side of the hole in which a time capsule is about to be buried at Lodge Moor Hospital, Sheffield, to mark the hospital centenary. The contents will depict the life and work of the hospital.'Picture 10th January 1987

In 1953 three wards were turned into a paraplegic unit and the following year the hospital began treating spinal injuries.

As recalled recently in Retro, two years later Lodge Moor was hit by tragedy when a United States Air Force jet crashed on to the hospital, killing one
patient, Elsie Murdoch, and injuring seven others.

In the late 1950s TB patients were transferred to Lodge Moor from Nether Edge and the Commonside Sanatorium closed.

The hospital also provided paediatrics, general and chest medicine, general surgery and urology, renal dialysis, neuromedicine and neurosurgery, plus services for the elderly.

Despite public and staff opposition, Lodge Moor was closed in 1994 when Sheffield Health Authority moved to centralise its services at the Royal Hallamshire and Northern General hospitals.

Ella Goddard, who worked at the Lodge Moor spinal injuries unit with her husband Ted, who was a rehabilitation officer, wrote a book called The Hospital on the Moor in 1996.

Ella worked for Dr Alan Hardy, who set up the unit after it moved there from a bungalow at Wharncliffe Hospital.

Memorable moments included a pregnant woman who gave birth at Lodge Moor and the first arrival of a patient by helicopter in 1959.

Many of the early spinal injury patients were miners who were injured in pit accidents, said Ella.

Following the example of the famous Dr Ludwig Guttman at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, patients at Wharncliffe and then Lodge Moor did sporting activities to help with their rehabilitation.

They entered teams in the early Stoke Mandeville Games for the Paralysed, which would later become the Paralympics.

Ella went with the Sheffield team to the 1955 games.

Her future husband Ted set up the first sports teams at Lodge Moor for discharged patients the following year.

They began with archery, table tennis, basketball and snooker competitions and the sports club thrived for more than three decades. The Sheffield industrialist Sir Stuart Goodwin was an early supporter of the club.

Five patients from Lodge Moor competed in the first Paralympics, held straight after the Olympic Games in Rome, and all won medals.

Ted was British team manager and carried the team’s Olympic flag.

n Jo Groves, the great-granddaughter of Elsie Murdoch, who died in the 1955 jet crash at Lodge Moor, is hoping to get in touch with Margaret Schofield, a nurse who stayed with the injured Elsie .

She wrote: “It would be really lovely to meet with her and thank her for the time she spent with Elsie before she passed away.”

If anyone can help, get in touch with Julia Armstrong at Retro.