The first patient was admitted to Petworth Cottage Hospital on 20th November 1867 – a young male, aged 13 from Coates, with an injury to his pelvis from an accident and was discharged (healed) early the following February. During the first year of operation, management committee notes show that the hospital was well-supported by the local community with money and other gifts including fruit, books, wine and curiously, some calf’s feet (presumably not intended for transplant purposes)! After the Second World War, the hospital was taken into the NHS as a Cottage Hospital but closed in 1969. In 1971, the premises were bought by Jeanne Courtauld and re-opened using cast-off equipment from King Edward VII Hospital.
PCNH exists today as a care home with space for 32 residents covering the spectrum of short-term, long-term, respite and palliative care of the highest standard. They function as a charity and are non-profit making. The last two years have proved, unsurprisingly, challenging both in terms of running the home and raising funds. Suffice to say the team has risen to the challenge quite marvellously and (touch wood) its residents have remained unscathed by the wretched Covid. Indeed, they have during the pandemic assisted and supported some 40 residents with their fees, most of whom have lived within the environs of Petworth, thereby fulfilling our responsibilities as a charity.
The Friends of PCNH are a body of local volunteers who provide additional funds through specific events and collections. These funds contribute towards the cost of essential equipment and non-medical items to improve the comfort & well-being of the patients. Recent fund-raising has provided an interactive TV screen for patients to use, refurbishment of the resident’s lounge and installation of a new medication room.
Volunteers have only recently been allowed back in to help support the regular staff with the provision of fresh flowers in public areas, morning coffee for residents and tea & cake in the afternoon. They also support in one other critical way – bringing the outside world into PCNH with news, fresh perspective, a change to daily routine and company. They are particularly keen to welcome new volunteers now.
If you feel that you could help as a volunteer at PCNH, or if you have limited time but would like to help financially or otherwise please do get in touch with them on 01798 342785 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
They very much hope to hear from you.