Luton and Dunstable University Hospital (L&D) is celebrating its 80th birthday on 14 February.

With the NHS not created until 1948, the hospital was built, equipped and maintained as a voluntary organisation for the first nine years of its existence thanks to the generosity of the local community.

When the hospital was officially opened 80 years ago on 14 February by Queen Mary it had 170 beds, two operating theatres with 59 nurses all living on site, working around 52 hours a week and earning around £1.85 a month.

Fast forward eighty years the hospital now boasts 660 beds, 15 operating theatres, and more than 4,300 staff including doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, administrative and support personnel, as well as 300 volunteers from the local area.

The L&D would like to invite the local community to join in the celebrations with lots happening including live music, an exhibition tracing the hospital’s history, special guests, a service of celebration and an 80th birthday themed cake competition to be judged by a local celebrity!

If you, or someone you know was a patient at the L&D when the hospital first opened in 1939, they would love to hear from you – it would be the icing on the cake! Please email or call 01582 497 408.