Rochford Hospital used to be primarily the district maternity hospital. It was here, in 1956, that Sister J Ward made observations that led to the development of phototherapy for newborns suffering from jaundice.
This hospital was closed and housing was built on much of the site. Some of the hospital was demolished in 1997, with the remainder being utilised for mental health inpatient services by South Essex Mental Health and Community Care NHS Trust until spring 2005 when services were dispersed and Rochford Hospital closed for redevelopment as part of the Runwell Hospital reprovision programme (latterly South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust) The old boilerhouse which was built in 1933 and provided heat and power for the hospital still stands. It is a grade 2 listed building. it has been converted into apartments
In February 2008 the new Rochford Hospital opened to mental health inpatient services provided by South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, Rochford Hospital provides services for wards which moved from Runwell Hospital.
Built in the grounds of the old hospital, the new development has 111 beds and cost £25 million. It was designed to care for people with mental health needs in a modern and therapeutic environment, initially opening four new wards for adult and older peoples mental health care, these wards are Beech Ward (previously Elm Ward) and Maple Ward (previously Ashingdon Ward) provide services for older people, Cedar Ward (previously Boleyn One Ward) and Willow Ward (previously Chalkwell Ward) provide services for Adults age people, Poplar ward is a new development which will provide inpatient services for adolescents suffering from mental ill health, Poplar ward opened in February 2009. The new Rochford Hospital is part of the wider plans to permanently close the current Runwell Hospital.
Rochford Hospital was officially opened on Thursday 7 May 2009 by Professor Louis Appleby.
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