Bronovo hospital has a rich history that began quietly in 1865, when the doors of the Gravenhaagsche Diaconessen- Inrichting (The Hague Deaconesses’ Institute) were opened in a simple ceremony, with Sister Sara Katharina de Bronovo as the first “Managing Deaconess”, from which the later hospital took its name.
Ms Bronovo devoted herself tirelessly to the task she and her Sisters faced, a calling they described thus at the time: “The main task the Deaconess undertakes in this institution is the nursing of the body and soul of the sick, to the extent of knowledge that she has been given for this purpose.”
Mother Bronovo: a compassionate person
Mother Bronovo died on 18 June 1887, after an impressive working life, which would forever stamp its mark on the hospital. Her motto seemed to be to go all out for the patients. Or, as one of the sisters later expressed in her diary, “Mother saw everything, and thought of everything and everyone. What a privilege to have known and loved such a person.
Civility and quality are the values of Bronovo
The historic approach of “nursing from a labour of love”, as it was carried out by the Deaconesses in the past, and Bronovo’s traditional prominence in Hague society, anchored some fundamental values in the hospital, which remain in the mindset of its employees to this day. Paying personal attention to our patients, showing courtesy at all times and Service (capitalized) are seen as being at least as important as the medical attention we provide to our patients. In particular, our staff’s gracious manners and humanity to others remains a valuable asset.
Close connection with the Dutch Royal family
During a visit of Queen Wilhelmina and Queen Mother Emma in January 1900 after a major renovation, the new hospital halls were given the names Orange hall and Emma hall after the Royal Family. It ushered in the tradition to connect the names of members of the Royal Family to different Bronovo halls. In the hospital’s current building on Bronovo lane this tradition is kept alive - all wards bear the name of a member of the Royal Family. The relationship with the monarchy has remained solid and Bronovo has enjoyed the warm interest of Queen Juliana, Queen Beatrix and Queen Máxima. In addition, the hospital has gained national fame as a result of the births of Princess Catharina-Amalia of The Netherlands and Countess Eloise of Orange-Nassau van Amsberg.
Bronovo: old-fashioned dedication, contemporary care
Inside De Orangerie you will find a tribute to Bronovo Hospital’s early years as a deaconesses’ institution. Three display cases contain various authentic objects, such as a Bible, brooches, cutlery and crockery. And a photo collage on one of the walls recreates the atmosphere of days gone by.
In 1972, the “Bronovo Deaconesses’ Institute” and the Nebo hospital were merged into the Bronovo-Nebo Foundation. This Foundation now administers Bronovo Hospital and the Nebo Nursing Home. The hospital is currently undergoing a dramatic transformation in order to continue to meet the needs of patients and provide the professional quality the hospital is known for, now and in the future. A new wing will be added to the current construction, which will consist of five flo ors that will be home to a new emergency room, outpatient clinics and will allow for the renovation of the operating theatres. Renovations will also take place within the main building, including the wards, which will consist of comfortable single rooms with only a few double and triple rooms, with the aim of placing the wellbeing of Bronovo patients and visitors at the forefront.
Bronovo, rooted in The Hague
Science and society may have changed, but the Bronovo mentality has not. With roots deep in the history of The Hague, and a keen eye for qualitative medical care and gracious service, it’s hard to imagine Bronovo as not being part of The Hague’s urban landscape. And that makes Bronovo a unique institution in The Hague. Bronovo has been at the heart of The Hague since 1865, but always remains focused on the future.