Musgrove Park Hospital

Musgrove Park Hospital is a large NHS hospital located in Taunton, Somerset, England, run by Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust. Originally a US Army General Hospital during the Second World War, it became an NHS hospital in 1951.

Musgrove Park Hospital
Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust
Entrance to Musgrove Park Hospital
Shown in Somerset
LocationTaunton, Somerset, England, United Kingdom
Coordinates51°00′44″N 3°07′14″W
Care systemPublic NHS
Hospital typeDistrict General
Emergency departmentYes Accident & Emergency
ListsHospitals in England


The 67th General Hospital was authorised on 3 March 1941, during the Second World War, and activated 1 September 1942 as an American Army Hospital and occupied by the U.S. Army Medical Corps.[1][2] After the war, it continued in use as a Ministry of Pensions Hospital and only became a General Hospital within the National Health Service in 1951.[1]

Early royal visits included those by Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother in 1959 and by Princess Anne in 1970, when she opened the Intensive Therapy Unit.[3] Following an operation on his foot in 1977,[4] Somerset cricketer Ian Botham mistakenly walked into a children's ward at Musgrove Park. He gives this as his inspiration for raising millions of pounds for leukaemia charities.[5]

During the great snow of February 1978, the helicopter became a familiar sight, bringing a patient with a head injury, transporting mothers in labour and supplying smaller hospitals. This was followed by the Taunton train fire of July 1978, which also affected staff and patients.[1]

The first major development of the hospital, the Queen's Building, which provides accident and emergency, orthopedics, endoscopy and ophthalmics as well as therapy services, was opened by the Queen in 1987.[6] The Duchess Building, which provides medical and care of the elderly, outpatients, oral surgery and orthodontics, dermatology, diagnostic imaging, pharmacy and paramedical support, was opened by the Duchess of Gloucester in 1995.[7]

In October 2006, a new multi-storey car park was opened, provided under a 25-year Public-private partnership (PPP). The Cedars car park was built with 736 spaces and the contract to operate it was given to Dutch company Q-Park. A new cardiac extension to the hospital was built at this time, providing primary angioplasty facilities.[8]

On 1 December 2007, Taunton and Somerset NHS Trust became a Foundation Trust making Musgrove a Foundation Trust hospital. As a Foundation Trust, the hospital was given greater freedoms over its finances and the 5,200 people who have registered as members were given a greater role to play in the future direction of the hospital.[9] The Beacon Centre for cancer services opened in May 2009.[10]

Between February and May 2010, a new helipad was constructed directly outside the accident and emergency department reducing aircraft transfer times.[11][12]

In 2014, the Jubilee Building, which replaced part of the old building was completed.[13]


Musgrove Park is the major hospital in Somerset, which serves Taunton and its surrounding areas. It serves a population of 340,000 - primarily living in the area served by NHS South West. Each year 41,000 patients are admitted as emergencies; 9,000 patients are admitted for elective surgery; 34,000 are seen for day case surgery; 315,500 outpatient appointments are held; 56,000 attend Accident and Emergency, 3,400 babies are born in the Maternity Department and 235,000 diagnostics tests are carried out.[14]

The hospital has over 700 beds as well as 15 operating theatres. Musgrove Park is also home to an Intensive Care and High Dependency Unit, an Acute Medical Unit, a fully equipped Diagnostic Imaging department and a specialised Children’s Department including a Paediatric High Dependency Bay. The trust also provides Neonatal Intensive Care for all of Somerset. The trust employs about 4,000 staff.[14]

Musgrove Park has a Community Radio station housed on its campus, Apple FM, presented and run by volunteers. The station is broadcast on 97.3 MHz FM throughout Taunton Deane and beyond and to all patients and staff on the internal bedside entertainment units.[15]


In 2007, the accident and emergency department of Musgrove Hospital was the subject of a TV fly-on-the-wall series known as Emergency: Medics.[16]

See also


  1. "History in Brief". Musgrove Park Hospital. Archived from the original on 21 January 2008. Retrieved 5 July 2009.
  2. Wakefield, Ken (1994). Operation Bolero: The Americans in Bristol and the West Country 1942-45. Crecy Books. p. 101. ISBN 978-0947554514.
  3. "A brief history of Musgrove Park Hospital - (67th General Hospital)". Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  4. "Ian Botham: Cricketer of the Year". John Wisden & Co. 1978. Retrieved 2 May 2017.
  5. "Botham knighted for cricket and charity work". BBC. 10 October 2007. Retrieved 4 April 2008.
  6. "Photographs of the opening of the Queen's Building by The Queen". South West Heritage Trust. 8 May 1987. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  7. "Royal visit". Somerset County Gazette. 15 May 2001. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  8. "Advances In Cardiac Care At Musgrove Park Hospital, Somerset, England". Medical News Today. Retrieved 5 July 2009.
  9. "Musgrove Park Becomes Foundation Trust". Taunton and Somerset NHS Trust. Archived from the original on 21 January 2008. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
  10. "About the Beacon Centre". Somerset Unit for Radiotherapy Equipment. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  11. Hill, Phil (27 February 2010). "Musgrove helipad work progressing". County Gazette. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  12. Bull, Rebecca (25 May 2010). "First helicopter lands at Musgrove Park Hospital helipad". County Gazette. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  13. "£34m Jubilee Building keys handed over to Taunton's Musgrove Park Hospital". County Gazette. 22 February 2014. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  14. "About Your Hospital". Taunton & Somerset NHS Trust. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  15. "Apple FM". Apple FM. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  16. Ward-Willis, Claire (17 April 2007). "Stars of A & E". County Gazette. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
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