The development of the Orthopaedic Department at the Hospital is of particular interest since in some parts of the country it was held up by the general surgeons who strongly resented the loss of patients always regarded as coming within the province of surgery. This was not the case at Addenbrooke’s. An Orthopaedic Department was already in existence by 1915 under the care of Dr Griffiths.
At a meeting of the General Committee on 16 December 1918, a letter was received from the Ministry of Pensions concerning the establishment of an Orthopaedic Centre in Cambridge. The letter was referred to the staff and two weeks later their ‘heartily approval’ of a clinic for the orthopaedic treatment of discharged soldiers was obtained.
The Ministry wished to establish 26 Orthopaedic in-patients centres in the UK and it was hoped that one of these would be at Addenbrooke’s. It was to be linked to established clinics at Ely, March, Wisbech, Peterborough, Bedford and Huntingdon where our-patients would be treated. By 20 October 1919 the General Committee were able to tell the Ministry that such a centre had been establish.
Demand for Orthopaedic services must have fallen off in the years after the war, however for the General Committee of 13 January 1925, accepted the recommendation of the staff ‘that the work of the Orthopaedic Departments having lapsed’ it should be re-started under Dr Roderick.
The photograph was taken in about 1965 and shows the Decontamination Unit built at the beginning of the Second World War and later used as The Orthopaedic Unit then adapted for work with radioisotopes.