A new location will mark the next chapter for the Museum and the stories it will tell
Developments in military medicine go on to be used by people across the world to save lives and provide treatments that improve quality of life and wellbeing. In addition to recognising the advancements that have gone on to save the lives of accident victims, helped people to regain their ability to walk and shaped how care is delivered in hospitals across the country. It is the duty of the Museum of Military Medicine to tell those inspiring stories in a location that will allow more people to hear them.
The Museum’s search for a new site, which began in 2016, saw it consider several locations across the UK. While many had merits, the Museum recognised that Cardiff Bay presented an established tourism location that would also allow it to build links with leading life sciences researchers, pioneering universities, and healthcare providers.
A planning application for Cardiff Bay aims to bring innovative technology to Wales including the UK’s first 8K immersive video space, Deep Space. In addition to sharing the stories of past innovators and the lives that have been saved as a result, the new Museum in Cardiff would be used by healthcare professionals and researchers to develop new treatments, with which the power to save and improve the lives across the UK and beyond. Discussions with Welsh health boards and universities have already begun with ongoing conversations taking place around how the Museum will benefit in supporting the communities they serve.
As we plan to make Cardiff the home for the Museum, it is important that we reflect the history and diversity of the community it seeks to join. The Museum is committed to ensuring the heritage of Butetown and Wales will feature heavily in the stories it will tell, such as the Hamadryad Military Hospital, which was once located in Cardiff Bay, and the 203 Welsh Field Hospital in Gabalfa. But, we know there are many more stories to tell and that we will need the help of the community to ensure they are.
We want to work with local residents, schools and businesses to make sure that the community helps shape our plans, which will include meeting with individuals and groups directly. Current restrictions mean that we do not have the ability to meet with people as we normally would, but we are committed to finding new ways to engage with communities and groups in the “new normal” times we all are living through today.
We have already commissioned a report from a local charity that is working to organise an archive of photographs, oral history recordings and other material relating to Butetown, Tiger Bay and Cardiff Docks from the Butetown History and Arts Centre, that will form the basis of displays within the Museum.
In Cardiff, the Museum is looking to create more than an exhibition space. The aim to showcase and inspire further medical advancements will bring new resources and technology to Wales, including the UK’s first 8K immersive video space, Deep Space, which will become a new and important resource for local school children and medical students.
In what will be a first for the United Kingdom, the large-scale projection which offers visuals in 2D or 3D in 8K resolution can be used in medical lectures, giving details of the human body, projecting complex images of bones and organs. At the Museum of the Future in Linz, Austria, the facility has also been used to broadcast live surgery, with the audience able to follow every step of a procedure in detail. This is one of the aims of bringing the technology to Cardiff, which will benefit future and current health professionals.
The goal is to create a national venue that will benefit its local community as we work with educators, healthcare providers and those creating lifesaving technologies that will support future lifesaving innovations. The Museum will become a centre for new educational programmes, which fosters research partnerships and create in Cardiff Bay an institution that demonstrates Wales’ place at the forefront of UK innovation in healthcare.