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New Centre Planned to Celebrate Worldwide Importance of Wrightington

Newsdate: 19 July 2013

Professor John Charnley in TheatreIn 1962, Professor Sir John Charnley developed and performed a pioneering surgical procedure at Wrightington Hospital, which was to change the lives of millions. The Charnley Hip was the starting point for all modern hip replacement procedures, and it was down to the inspiration and hard work of one man based at Wrightington Hospital.

Now, proposals are being developed to establish a new education and heritage centre, within the grounds of Wrightington Hospital. This centre will celebrate Charnley’s globally important invention, and allow people from all walks of life to share in the journey of its development, from a workshop in Wrightington, to surgical theatres across the world. The project team are holding an open day at Wrightington Hall Conference Centre, on Wednesday 24 July, between 12:00 noon and 6:30pm, where members of the public can find out about the work that has been carried out so far, and comment on the proposals that we are developing.  This event will also include opportunities to visit the current Hip Histories museum.

Wrightington Hospital currently includes a Hip Histories museum which showcases some of Charnley’s important work, but it is not generally accessible to the public. The building which houses the museum is due to be redeveloped as part of wider proposals to ensure Wrightington Hospital continues to deliver top-class Orthopaedic care into the future.

The new Wrightington Hall - Charnley Education and Heritage Centre project plans to use the opportunity of the redevelopment of the hospital site, to modernise and re-house the Hip Histories museum in a refurbished historic barn complex on the hospital site – itself of heritage significance.  The new Centre will be much more publicly accessible, and will include displays and activities which will enable a broad range of people to enjoy and understand the importance of the work that took place at Wrightington Hospital.

The project will form the basis of an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for resources to develop and re-house the collection in a redeveloped barn complex, and also to develop an activity plan which will enable us to promote the Centre to new wider range of audiences.

From school and college groups, medical and engineering students, through to members of the public whose lives have been improved by this remarkable work, the team behind this project believe that the Centre can fill an important niche in local and national education on this important aspect of Wrightington’s heritage.

Chris Faux, Chair of The John Charnley Trust and former Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, commented: “This is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the work of Sir John Charnley at Wrightington, and to promote his achievements to a much wider audience.  When we consider how many people have had their lives changed by the hip replacement surgery pioneered here, it shows that this collection is far more important than a chapter in a medical archive, but something that is a living and breathing piece of our heritage that is still changing lives to this day”.
Parties Involved:
Listed below are the parties involved on this project along with a contact from each organisation for further information:

If you have any queries about the event on 24 July, please contact June Lancaster in the first instance.

The project team has set up a survey questionnaire relating to the barn redevelopment proposal and Charnley collection that we are inviting members of the public to complete. You can access this surevey via either of the links below:

http://bit.ly/wrightington

or

http://www.northwest.groundwork.org.uk/lancashire-west--wigan/better-places/wrightington-hall.aspx

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