Providing health care for residents of Bournemouth, Christchurch, East Dorset and part of the New Forest, the Royal Bournemouth Hospital replaced the late Victorian era Royal Victoria Hospital. After services transferred to the Royal Bournemouth in 1989, most of the former buildings were demolished in 1993. Some parts of the original hospital are still in use as NHS Clinical Commissioning Group administrative offices and an ENT clinic.

Since it was opened at the end of the 1980s, RBH has been continually growing and evolving. The hospital’s second phase was opened by Princess Anne in 1992, with the addition of a Cardiac Intervention Unit in April 2005. The Derwent Hospital, a 28-bed unit was purchased in 2007, and had previously operated as a private hospital.

Being an acute general hospital, RBH has a wide range of healthcare facilities, available to all patients at the point of access. Particularly the 24-hour accident & emergency department, which is often busier during the summer as a result of holidaymaker misadventure. The Royal Bournemouth also provides district-wide services for vascular surgery and urology.

Outpatient clinics are provided for paediatrics, plastic surgery, ENT (ears, nose and throat), cardiothoracic and neurology. There is a diabetic unit called BDEC, which treats and educates local patients diagnosed with the disease.

There is a Boots pharmacy available for filling prescriptions at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital for inpatients and outpatients alike, along with selling a variety of over-the-counter medicine. Due to the volume of scripts that need filling, the pharmacy is unable to process prescriptions from the general public.

There are a variety of restaurants and coffee shops at RBH that visitors can make use of while at the hospital, offering a selection of hot and cold food and beverages throughout the year.

Other services at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital include an onsite WHSmith newsagent that is easily located in the main entrance. Perfect for patients and visitors alike, there are the usual variety of magazines, books, snacks, and toiletries as well as a cash machine that is free to use.

A 12-minute film simply titled ‘Porters’ was made by students from Newport Film School about staff of the Royal Bournemouth Hospital in 2015. Particularly focusing on the hospital’s porters, the short film won a number of awards and was added to the British Film Institute’s national archives.