|The distinctive Bangour Village Hospital site, 1970s|
From 1915-1922 and 1939-1945, the Hospital was taken over by the War Office for use by military patients. During this period, it is common in the records to see asylum patients being moved in groups from the Hospital to other asylums, and then returned after the wars. During the Second World War, an annexe of huts was built to house more military patients, which remained open to civilians after 1945, as Bangour General Hospital. Norman Dott carried out some of his pioneering neurosurgery work from here and his case note records are now being catalogued at LHSA, as reported in previous blogs. Other areas of specialist treatment developed at the General Hospital included tuberculosis, plastic and facio-maxillary surgery and thoracic surgery.In 1948 under the organisation of the NHS, the Bangour hospitals came under the West Lothian Hospitals Board of Management and from the 1950s, the Village Hospital took in patients from the West Lothian area as well as from Edinburgh.
In 1989, St John’s Hospital opened in Livingston and services began to be transferred there from Bangour General Hospital, with the latter closing in the early 1990s. The practice of institutionalising psychiatric patients declined rapidly in the late 20th century and Bangour Village Hospital finally closed in 2000. The site is still yet to be redeveloped and many of the buildings remain, albeit in a dilapidated condition. LHSA contains many records and photographs of staff and patients at the hospitals, catalogued under LHB40 and LHB44, preserving their memory.