Friends and staff of The McIndoe Centre in East Grinstead have gathered to celebrate 20 years of excellence in plastic and reconstructive surgery.
The McIndoe Centre admitted its first patient in 1999, following two years of refurbishment after the building had become derelict. Situated in the grounds of the Queen Victoria NHS Foundation Trust Hospital, it was originally the hospital’s Burns Unit and was built in memory of Sir Archibald McIndoe, who treated injured servicemen at the hospital in World War II.
Now a purpose-built medical facility, designed with innovation and first-class healthcare in mind, The McIndoe Centre is home to some of the UK’s most esteemed consultants and state-of-the-art equipment.
Richard Tyler, Chief Executive Officer at Horder Healthcare, an independent healthcare provider which acquired The McIndoe Centre in 2015, said: “Although our heritage dates back many years, we are extremely proud to be celebrating 20 years of the modern day McIndoe Centre.
“As well as pioneering surgical techniques that went on to underpin the future treatment of burns, cancer and trauma patients across the world, our namesake Sir Archibald McIndoe was also very focused on the whole patient, a legacy that lives on today.”
After enjoying a champagne reception and speeches from Richard Tyler, President of Horder Healthcare Charles Gallanaugh, consultant plastic surgeon Oliver Harley and nurse Claire Judge, guests at the celebratory event took a tour of The McIndoe Centre’s ultra-modern operating theatres.
Attendees included Bob Marchant, the Secretary of the Guinea Pig Club, which was established in 1941 to support young RAF pilots left with life-changing injuries. Sir Archibald McIndoe operated on 649 guinea pigs in total, leading to him being knighted in 1947. As well as performing the surgery, he focused on the importance of rehabilitation back into civilian life. With his encouragement, the guinea pigs led full and active lives and East Grinstead became known as ‘the town that didn’t stare’.
Richard Tyler added: “As well as delivering high quality medical procedures and patient care from world-class consultants, we continue to look after people long after they have left the operating theatre. We believe surgery is about improving a patient’s quality of life which is something Sir Archibald instilled in us all.”
Click play to listen to the radio interview at Uckfield FM