Close Button

Hospital’s history and link to major world health issue

Major world health issue

Every March we celebrate World TB Day and there is significance in that, so far as the history of our hospital is concerned.

The hospital’s roots go back to when Tuberculosis (TB) was a major world health issue, and rife in the UK. One man’s vision became the catalyst for establishing Benenden Hospital.

In 1905 Charles Garland set up the National Association for the Establishment and Maintenance of Sanatoria for Workers Suffering from Tuberculosis Friendly Society (known today as Benenden Health).

In 1906, the hospital’s foundation stone was laid (and this still has pride of place in the hospital today) and in 1907 we began welcoming post office workers who convalesced in the tranquil and naturally beautiful surroundings that patients of Benenden Hospital still enjoy today.

The caring ethos remains key to our service and I do often wonder what Charles Garland would make of the ultra-modern facilities we offer and range of treatments we offer today?

Sadly, TB remains with us worldwide and TB Day is an opportunity to raise awareness of its burden and the status of TB prevention and care efforts.

Currently, around one quarter of the world’s population is infected with TB and it remains a major public health threat. The European region includes nine of the top 30 countries with the highest burden of multidrug-resistant TB in the world.

Working together in partnerships, the WHO in Europe is assisting with scaling up rapid TB diagnostics tests, providing faster and more effective treatment, in order to make further progress in TB prevention and care, and boosting research to develop new and more effective TB vaccines.

It's good to know Benenden Hospital’s rich history includes a period when we contributed to the worldwide fight against TB.

If you’d like to contribute a story to our history, with anecdotes or through old photographs of the hospital you’d be willing to share, please send submissions to and take a look at our history.

Published on 24 March 2021