'Overndale' House

When Wendover was a maternity hospital, they were handed a letter with very brief account from someone who lived in the building from 1907-1919

Wendover History

This letter has been slightly edited from the original, with some words removed, however please ask if you would like to read the original letter as we have this on-site at Wendover. 

Please note the letter refers to the building being the hospital, so you will have to use your imagination a bit.

If anyone knows the layout of Wendover Hospital, please contact us! 

It mentions the following; but these are guesses of the locations;

Ground floor labour ward – we believe is Pre-School Art Studio

Patients lounge – Ground floor? 

Labour ward – Somewhere in nursery room?

Ward 1 – Somewhere in nursery room?

Ward 3 – Somewhere in nursery room?

As Wendover was previously known as ‘Overndale’ it has been impossible to find any pictures or more information on the building as it was then, so if anyone does have any information prior to the NHS taking over we would love to hear from you! 

All we know, is from reading that letter, the building as a residential house but have been spectacular.

Wendover Maternity Hospital & NHS Offices

Wendover Maternity Hospital was closed in 1983 and was then used as offices for the Women and Children’s Health Directorate.

Reason Wendover closed

In 1978 there were only 128 deliveries at Wendover, an average of fewer than three a week, and this serious under-utilisation naturally led to low staff morale and staffing difficulties. Because of staff resignations, the hospital was temporarily unable to provide safe delivery cover, and in September 1978 the health authority decided to close the hospital temporarily for deliveries and to use it for post-natal care only. There was no intention at that time to close the hospital permanently, and deliveries were resumed two months later as soon as a full complement of staff was recruited.

The expectation was that, with the increase in the birth rate, the unit’s facilities would be more fully used. However, despite encouragement by the district management team, this did not happen and there were only 119 deliveries in 1979.

That authority reviewed the situation in April 1980 and decided that, as Wendover hospital was not making any significant contribution to obstetric services in Avon, its closure should be proposed.

By then, the average number of deliveries was only about two per week, compared with a potential of 19, and, in the authority’s view, while the hospital remained open it was tying up valuable resources of staff that could be more economically deployed elsewhere. The average cost of a delivery at Wendover in 1979 was £1,100, compared with a range of £388 to £600 for the other maternity hospitals managed by the authority.

The total current cost of running the hospital is £130,000 a year, and the authority felt that these resources were urgently needed to meet the increasing pressures upon the consultant maternity units and upon the community midwife services.

[Reference; http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1980/jun/06/wendover-maternity-hospital#column_1921]