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Royal Naval Hospital
The earliest surviving Royal Naval Hospital complex is on Illa del Rei, Port Mahon, Menorca (established 1711, rebuilt 1771-6, restored 2011)
A Royal Naval Hospital (RNH) was a hospital operated by the British Royal Navy for the care and treatment of sick and injured naval personnel. A network of these establishments were situated across the globe to suit British interests. They were part of the Royal Naval Medical Service.
No Royal Naval Hospitals survive in operation, although some have become civilian hospitals.
Individual surgeons had been appointed to naval vessels since Tudor times. During the seventeenth century, the pressures on practitioners grew, as crews began to be exposed to unfamiliar illnesses on increasingly long sea-voyages. One response, as proposed in 1664, was the provision of hospital ships to accompany the fleet on more distant expeditions. Another was the provision of temporary shore-based hospitals, such as those briefly set up during the Anglo-Dutch Wars in such locations as Ipswich, Rochester, Harwich and Plymouth (the latter being established on a more permanent footing in 1689). By the turn of the century, permanent hospital provision was being contemplated for overseas bases; one was set up in Jamaica by Admiral John Benbow in 1701. More were to follow, both at home and abroad.
Head of Royal Navy Hospital
The hospitals were usually administered by a governor appointed by the regulatory boards charged with providing medical services to naval personal.
Royal Naval Hospital Haslar, Gosport; opened 1753 as the Royal Hospital Haslar, renamed Royal Naval Hospital in 1954, reverted to Royal Hospital Haslar as the tri-Service Core Hospital in 1996. Having been managed as part of the Portsmouth Hospitals group since 2004, it closed in 2009.
Royal Naval Hospital Great Yarmouth; opened 1793 to serve ships anchoring in Yarmouth Roads, relocated 1815, specialised in psychiatric cases from 1863; transferred to NHS 1958, closed and converted to residential flats 1993.
Royal Naval Hospital, Haulbowline, Ireland; began as a temporary hospital (1820), established on a permanent footing in 1862. Transferred with the rest of the Naval Dockyard to the Irish Government in 1923.
During the Second World War around twenty 'R.N. Auxiliary Hospitals' were established in various locations, at home and abroad, on a temporary basis.
Royal Marine Infirmaries
Royal Marine Infirmaries were established near the divisional headquarters in Chatham, Deal, Plymouth, Portsmouth and Woolwich, along with a separate Royal Marine Artillery Infirmary in Portsmouth.
Greenwich Hospital, which predated all the above, was established on somewhat different grounds, as it cared for retired seamen rather than those on active service. Also called the Royal Hospital for Seamen in Greenwich, it was a home for Greenwich pensioners, established in 1692, and although closed at Greenwich in 1869 still exists as a charity. Its buildings housed the Royal Naval College, Greenwich between 1873 and 1998 and are now open to the public as the Old Royal Naval College.