History of The Alex

Rockinghorse has been synonymous with the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital ever since the charity’s inception. Here we look at a brief history of the much loved centre of excellence – The Royal “Alex.”

At a meeting held in the Town Hall, Brighton on June 23rd 1868 decisions were taken to found a children’s hospital. The title ‘Brighton Hospital for Sick Children’ was chosen and a private house was acquired for this purpose at 178 Western Road, Brighton. This house was adapted to provide three beds and was opened as a hospital on August 3rd 1868 by H.R.H the Duchess of Cambridge and H.R.H Princess Mary Adelaide.

The foundation stone of the new hospital was laid in 1880 and the permanent hospital with its three spacious wards was opened by Their Royal Highness the Princess and Prince of Wales on July 1st 1881 when the title the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Sick Children was adopted by gracious consent of Their Royal Highness.

Over the years many additions and improvements to the hospital buildings and facilities were made. In the 1960s there were 144 beds, although that was later reduced to 106.

In November 1954 the hospital was honoured in receiving the gracious consent of H.R.H Princess Alexandra to become its Patron so continuing its unbroken Royal patronage since 1868.

Nearly 150 years since the Brighton Hospital for Sick Children with just three beds was founded, the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital (The Alex) now stands on Eastern Road in Brighton, located behind the Royal Sussex County Hospital. The 100 bed hospital now supports over 45,000 children every year by providing services such as a dedicated Children’s Emergency Department, children’s outpatients services, and High Dependency and Oncology services.

Rockinghorse is incredibly proud to be such a big part of the development and changes of the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital, continually helping to improve the care for the sick children of Sussex. 

1967
We’ve been supporting sick children for 50 years
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45,000
Young patients are treated at the Alex every year
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600
Babies are treated at the TMBU every year
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250
Babies are treated at SCBU every year
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