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Medical museum tour


Latest news 

The battle to beat polio

The museum recently featured in the BBC documentary "the battle to beat polio". When former BBC TV economics reporter Stephanie Flanders, who narrates the programme, visited the museum it was an emotional personal journey. Her father – Michael – was one half of the famous Flanders and Swann musical comedy act who entertained the nation in the 1950s and 60s with a series of songs including “The Hippopotamus Song: Mud, Mud,Glorious Mud."

Watch the program on BBC iPlayer here.

Reading and the Great War        

As part of the nation's commemoration of World War 1, Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust's Medical Museum has been involved with a series of media events including radio and television broadcasts, news articles and podcasts, as well as taking part in the 'Reading at war' event at the University of Reading London Road Campus. 

Both Royal Berkshire and Battle hospitals played an important role during WW1 - up to 150 casualties arrived in Reading each day and were treated at the town's war hospitals.

Treating the huge numbers of soldiers was an enormous challenge for surgeons faced with the brutality of WW1.

Leonard Joyce, a surgical registrar at Royal Berkshire Hospital, pioneered a new way of healing wounds when he discovered the Reading Bacillus. Working alongside hospital pathologist, Robert Donaldson, he identified bacteria that broke down dead tissue and then used this in wounds which had failed to heal. The so-called Reading Bacillus allowed the wounds to heal naturally.

  • In honour of the hospital’s 175th birthday, health reporter Natasha Adkins met the Berkshire Medical Heritage Centre team to learn more about the hospital’s history and see just how much things have changed since it opened its doors. Read more here.
  • In a special BBC TV film, health correspondent David Fenton looked at surgery during World War One, and the discovery of a bacteria in Reading which could help heal wounds. Meanwhile on BBC Radio Berkshire has also been examining the work of the hospital staff during the First World War.

    BBC film - The Reading Bacillus

    Radio - The Reading Bacillus

  • To mark the centenary of the start of the First World War this year, the Berkshire Medical Heritage Centre, based at Royal Berkshire Hospital (RBH), has opened its archives. Read more here.

More news

For more news of what has been going on in and around the museum, browse our news stories here.  

Useful Contacts

Medical Museum
Royal Berkshire 
NHS Foundation Trust
London Road


    Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust,
    London Road,
    RG1 5AN
    Email us
    Tel: 0118 322 5111
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