Stenton | Healthcare

Healthcare in Stenton during this period was always provided by professionals outwith the village itself. A single-handed GP practice based in the village of East Linton, three miles distant, was the nearest facility. It was the custom for the surgery to be adjacent to the doctor’s house, Kiloran House, being the last before the East Linton Medical Centre opened in 1984. The centre now houses other healthcare workers, including the health visitor, district nurse and practice nurse.

During the war and just after the foundation of the NHS there was a nurses’ home in East Linton. Maternity provision outwith the home was fairly non-existent. All babies were born at home and a nurse from East Linton came to stay for as long as required. The Vert Memorial Hospital in Haddington (previously a general hospital until superseded by Roodlands) opened for maternity care c1950, and nearly all deliveries took place there until it closed in 1974. Now all mothers-to-be have to travel into Edinburgh.

Surgical procedures, other than minor surgery carried out by the local GP, were always carried out in Edinburgh, until Roodlands (in Haddington) became a general hospital in the late 1940s; it continued in this role until 1990, when all major surgery transferred back to Edinburgh. Now only minor operations are carried out in Haddington.

Social care for Stenton parish has always been friends and neighbours taking care of each other – a good community spirit. From 1945-69 a nurse came once a month to check schoolchildren. A dentist came every six months. Free orange juice, and free milk for children were distributed.

Little provision was made for health and safety before the 1980s. Stenton, although not having any resident professional health care within its parish, has always had access to facilities. The period 1980-2000 saw an improvement in the patient transport provision, in the routine visits by GPs to the elderly, in after-care by midwives, in visits by health visitors and nurses, and in communication generally.