Peel Hospital (near Galashiels) was one of the seven new Emergency Medical Services hospitals built in Scotland at the start of World War II to accommodate injured servicemen in locations relatively safe from bombing. The hospital was subsequently transferred to the N.H.S. and became a 209 bedded acute general hospital. The new Borders General Hospital, with 404 beds, including geriatrics, at Melrose was handed over to the Area Health Board in December 1986 and patients were transferred into it in 1988.
The laboratory services at Peel Hospital were initially controlled from Edinburgh, with CP Stewart and Dr Brodie playing important advisory roles in clinical chemistry and microbiology respectively. The increasing demand for laboratory services led to the appointment of multi-disciplinary clinical pathologists. These were Dr J Reid, Registrar (1956 to 1959), Dr W McNaught, Consultant (1959 to 1964), and Dr Ward, Consultant (1964 to 1982).
In the early 1980s, the staff increased in parallel with the growth in the medical disciplines in the Borders Area and in preparation for transfer to the new laboratory in the Borders General Hospital. There was a 30% increase in M.L.S.O. staffing from 1984 to 1986; a period when many laboratories elsewhere found that financial cut-backs prevented growth.
Felicity Anderson, Consultant Microbiologist, was appointed in 1984 in administrative charge of the Area Laboratory and she was succeeded by Morag Brown in 1984.
David J Usher, Lecturer in Aberdeen, was appointed as Principal Biochemist in charge of the Clinical Chemistry Department in 1982 and was regraded as Top Grade Biochemist in 1990.
A Consultant Haematologist was appointed in 1986. A consultant service for histopathology continued to be provided by the Pathology Department of Edinburgh University. (ref: 45)
David Usher retired in 2005.
Dr Wessel Jenner from South Africa, who had been a locum at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, was appointed as consultant in 2005.
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Last updated Oct 2005