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Hospital donates domiciliary x-ray set to Science Museum

Posted: 20 September 2016
Kelly White, Senior Communications Officer

The x-ray team at West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust has donated a domiciliary x-ray set to the Science Museum in London.

Picture of an old x-ray setThe kit which dates back to the 1960s was used to undertake portable x-rays used to take radiographs in patients' homes that were unable to attend the hospital due to health or mobility issues. The kit was used to take chest x-rays but a hand written exposure chart suggests that bones and joints were also imaged.

Danny Boxer, consultant radiologist at West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust said "we wanted to donate the equipment to the Science Museum so that others can understand what healthcare was like in 1960 and how medical equipment can have a large impact on society and accessibility of healthcare services".

He recalls an anecdote from a colleague that when she was newly qualified she remembers that on one occasion they took the kit to an elderly patient’s house only to find the house had no electricity; on another occasion they carried it up two flights of stairs to find out that the patient had gone to Bingo!

Katie Dabin, Curator of Clinical & Research Medicine from the Science Museum said: "The Science Museum looks after one of the world’s largest medical collections, and we have in our collection many exciting examples of medical imaging technologies including one of the world’s oldest x-ray sets. X-ray technology has had a profound impact on our lives, and we are thrilled to be able to collect this 1960s portable x-ray kit from the West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust to help us capture what it was like to x-ray patients who were unable to attend hospital for reasons as diverse as being too ill to be moved at home or residence in prison. The kit will be preserved for posterity as part of the national collection".

West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust and the Science Museum would love to hear from any local residents who have recollections of the equipment being used. If you have any anecdotes you would like to share please contact info@whht.nhs.uk.


For more information about our hospitals, visit www.westhertshospitals.nhs.uk. You can also join our near 5,324 followers on Twitter (twitter.com/westhertsNHS) or find us on Facebook (facebook.com/westhertsNHS).

  1. For more information, please contact Kelly White, Senior Communications Officer in the Trust’s communications department on telephone: 01923 436 281 or email: info@whht.nhs.uk. Out of hours, please call 07900 228 031.
  2. West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust is a large acute trust serving people from across Hertfordshire, north London and further afield. It operates from three sites at Watford, St Albans and Hemel Hempstead hospitals and sees about 600,000 patients a year. We are one of the largest employers locally, with around 4,500 staff and volunteers.