Students practising the use of a Neil Robertson stretcher, Royal Naval Hospital, Windmill Road, Chatham, Medway

Students practising the use of a Neil Robertson stretcher, Royal Naval Hospital, Windmill Road, Chatham, Medway
Photograph taken 6 July 1942 © Source: Historic England Archive ref: med01_01_3072

Students practising the use of a Neil Robertson stretcher. A canvas cover is supported by bamboo slats, which allows free movement and yet keeps the patient rigid. The stretcher is designed for removing an injured patient from a space where access is too limited to permit the use of regular stretchers. Made of semi-rigid canvas and supported by slats, the Neil Robertson stretcher wraps firmly around the patient and is secured using buckled straps. To prevent the patient from swaying when being lifted or lowered, a guideline can be tied to their ankles. It is still widely used by the Royal and Merchant Navies, and various rescue services, today. The Royal Naval Hospital at Chatham was opened in 1905 as a replacement for the Melville Hospital, which did not have the capacity to provide treatment for the large numbers of Naval personnel moving into Chatham.

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