Delight as historic windows are restored to former glory at QA hospital

TWELVE historical stained-glass windows have been unveiled at Queen Alexandra Hospital, collectively raising £30,000 in sponsorship for its Rocky Appeal.

Friday, 17th June 2016, 6:00 am
Stained glass windows have been installed at Queen Alexandra Hospital. The Sisters of Bethany from Southsea Sister Mary Joy, left, and Sister Elizabeth Pio with Mick Lyons. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (160841-3)

Standing at 8ft apiece, each pane of glass depicts a different saint and was saved from the Royal Portsmouth Hospital following its closure in 1978.

Selected sponsors pledged donations of £2,500 towards each window’s restoration.

Extra proceeds have funded the usage of Queen Alexandra’s £2.4m Da Vinci Robot, which is used for complex surgery.

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Jan Spear is chairwoman of the League of Friends, which sponsored a window depicting 19th century nurse Florence Nightingale.

She said: ‘It’s absolutely lovely to see. I actually worked at the Royal Portsmouth Hospital, where the windows originally hung in the chapel. To see them lit up and made beautiful again is really lovely.

‘To sponsor the window with Florence Nightingale on means a great deal to me.’

The Da Vinci Robot, which QA currently leases from an American firm, allows surgeons to work with extreme precision and manoeuvrability.

As the only hospital in the UK to use the robot for multiple procedures, QA currently has around £885,000 left to pay off for its use.

Peter Mellor, director of corporate affairs and business development at Queen Alexandra Hospital, said the robot’s capabilities are crucial.

‘For patients, it’s absolutely invaluable,’ he said. ‘It is a fantastic piece of kit, and of course, it’s unique to this particular area so we’re delighted to have it.

‘We’re so grateful for each sponsor’s generosity, it would’ve been a terrible waste for the windows to have been thrown away.

‘With them here, everybody can enjoy them and they’ll stand for as long as the hospital does. We’re absolutely delighted.’

Mick Lyons, the Rocky Appeal’s co-ordinator, said: ‘Many, many thanks to those who have sponsored these windows. They have brought the robot’s use nearer to fruition, and when it’s paid for, it’ll be ours for the good of thousands of people throughout the south east of Hampshire and beyond.’