1950’s The Cold  War and Civil Defence

City Hospital


Excerpt from the Annual Report 1956

Civil Defence

Civil defence in relation to hospitals has three main aspects. The first is the need to make provision when the hospital buildings have been affected in any way by enemy action. This involves the training of hospital staff in fire fighting and rescue work. In view of the advent of the hydrogen bomb the policy laud down by the Ministry of Health is now under reconsideration. The progress is therefore made with the training of hospital teams is negligible but we have two hospital civil defence instructors who have undertaken revision courses and their certificates brought up to date. The second aspect of the hospital in relation to civil defence is the provision of a mobile first aid unit. Members of the National Hospital Service Reserve have formed such a unit, and under the leadership of Dr. M. Darling and Sisters Taylor and Bennet they have trained exceedingly hard. They were narrowly beaten in the Group Eliminating Contest held at Derby Royal Infirmary on the 13th May 1956. The experience gained should however stand them in good stead for next years contest.

 The third aspect of the hospitals in relation to civil defence is the National Hospital Service Reserve in which the hospital is required to undertake the training of volunteers for nursing work in the event of staffs of hospitals having to be supplemented as a result of receiving casualties through enemy action. The recruitment of all members of the Reserve is carried out by the Local Committees, which are representatives of parties concerned. Qualified nurses carry out no training but undergo an annual refresher course at the hospital of their choice. The course is of 48 hours duration. Those to be trained as nursing auxiliaries attend First Aid and Home Nursing classes given by the British Red Cross Society or the St. John’s Ambulance Brigade and after passing an examination in these subjects undergo a hospital training course of 60 hours duration. After completion of this training the auxiliary carries out an annual hospital refresher course of 48 hours. The National Hospital Service Reserve in the Nottingham Local Committee Area has been gradually increasing its strength and now consists of 22 trained nurses and 538 auxiliary members. In this Group, training for the National Hospital Service Reserve is carried out at the Nottingham City Hospital, the Heanor, Langley Mill and District Memorial Hospital, and the Ilkeston General Hospital. We have been glad to welcome the formation of a National Hospital Service Reserve Association. This is an association designed to draw together members of the National Hospital Service Reserve in a camaraderie and they have arranged some social events: one dance, which was held at the General Hospital, was a great success. We have no doubt that the binding together of the members will be a stimulus and encouragement to each of the individual members.

National Hospital Service Reserve team from the Nottingham City Hospital

1950’s Civil Defence Exercise, Sherwood Main Hall, City Hospital