This year marks the 70th anniversary of the National Health Service, and this display shows images and documents from earlier provisions for health in Woking.

Records of early medical care in Woking are scarce but there are records in vestry minutes for both Woking and Horsell of payments made for the sick to be taken on a daunting journey to Wokingham Hospital for treatment. Much care began with charitable organisations, with the private sector and local and national government entering the scene relatively late. Not until 1898 was the first purpose-built hospital opened in the town, the Victoria Hospital, much loved but always struggling for more funds and more space to serve a growing population. The hospitals and homes of Woking sought to provide care for the sick and injured, maternity services, children and orphans and the elderly, as well as the emergencies of two world wars.  

Learn more in this free heritage display outside Woking's Story.

Image: London and South Western Railway Orphanage, Woking c. 1920s.