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Friends wanted for Livingstone Community Hospital in East Hill, Dartford, the Stones’ birthplace

Injured soldiers and elderly patients have been cared for on its wards and rock stars were born there.

Now Livingstone Community Hospital in East Hill, Dartford, has marked 120 years of serving the community.

Run by Kent Community Health NHS Trust, the hospital held an open day on Wednesday to mark the occasion.

Now a rehabilitation centre for the elderly, it has served the people of the borough in many ways.

Livingstone Community Hospital, East Hill, Dartford

When it first opened its doors, Livingstone had operating theatres and later was a maternity hospital where Rolling Stones Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were born.

It also played a role in helping injured soldiers during the Second World War.

Before becoming a rehab centre, Livingstone was a place for people to receive palliative care and worked alongside EllenorLions Hospices.

Livingstone Community Hospital, East Hill, Dartford

Occupational therapist Maria Mercier, 32, has worked at the centre for six years.

She said: “I love working here, I wouldn’t change it. Getting your patients back to where they want to be makes the job worthwhile.

“I think it’s vital to have our sort of facility because it gives elderly people a chance to get back on their feet.

“If we weren’t here, where would they be?”

She said everyone at the hospital was proud of the work it has done over the years but the open day was about the future.

She said: “It was quite impressive what they did when they set up the hospital here.

“The point of the open day is that we’re looking for a new League of Friends.

“We want the community support back in the hospital because there’s some projects we want to do here but can’t at the moment.”

Livingstone Community Hospital, East Hill, Dartford

The National Association of Leagues of Hospital Friends was set up in March 1949 and is a voluntary organisation which supports health services.

Mrs Mercier said that she had lots of good memories from her time at the 28-bed hospital, but one achievement stuck in her mind.

She said: “I think the best thing for our team recently is that we’re going to pick up an award in May, for an initiative set up by our physiotherapist Sam Gohir.

“His wristband project has halved the number of falls in the hospital.”

Mr Gohir’s Colours Reducing Falls programme works on a traffic light system, with a red wristband for patients needing the most care, descending to yellow and green.

The bands conveys to nurses and physiotherapists how much support a patient needs when moving around the hospital.

Mick Jagger on a visit back to Dartford
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