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Royal Air Force Hospital Wegberg

Royal Air Force Hospital Wegberg was built to serve the personnel of Royal Air Force Germany (RAFG) and their dependents. In reality RAF(H) Wegberg served any British forces in its area. The hospital was constructed in just 111 days by 5357 Airfield Construction Wing RAF and opened to patients on the 1 November 1953. The hospital functioned as a General hospital along the same lines as the other British Military Hospitals that were run by the British Army. The RAFG and BAOR (British Army of the Rhine) medical personnel based at Wegberg were also responsible for the emergency ambulance service supporting  British forces in the area. Following the end of the Cold War and the ensuing drawdown of forces, especially in Germany, the end was nigh for Royal Air Force Hospital Wegberg. The first services to be lost were the paediatric and special care baby units, this reduced the number of beds from 171 to 90 in December 1992. 1993 saw the loss of the surgical, medical and maternity wards. RAF(H) Wegberg was stood down on the 1 April 1996 after 43 years. The hospital was handed over to United Kingdom Support Command (UKSC) part of British Forces Germany (BFG), which was the combined successor to RAFG and the BAOR. The site continued to provide some community services and a small in-patient psychiatric unit, however, all other services were transferred to local German hospitals. The MoD finally closed the site and handed it back to the German government in September 2010. 

 

I saw most of the hospital when I visited, however, I missed the operating theatres as they were still securely sealed. I believe these have now been destroyed by two fires that have occurred in the time since.

 

UPDATE: In June 2018 I visited RAF(H) Wegberg again to find the operating theatres. Luckily, they have survived the previous fires but they are in a now battered state. Work has been carried out across the site remove asbestos and every building is wide open. When I originally visited there were still many locked doors and unbroken windows which is how I believe I missed the theatres. The last seven images are from June 2018 and show the operating theatres and some of the fire damage.