Hippocrates class (AHL) Mark 14-B
Miranda class medical variant seen in Star Trek Officer Training Manual 25th Anniversary. First ship NCC-1850 and classed as a Light Hospital Ship (AHL-1850).
Website for the stretched-hull version.
The Hippocrates class light hospital ship (AHL) was designed as the hospital ship for minor and moderate scale medical emergencies. The medical facilities allow for the transfer of a few hundred more serious patients with superior medical facilities to many Federation facilities. The current Hippocrates class is a refit of the earlier model and has been in service since the 2260s when it replaced the older Quinn class (named for the famed medicine woman!)
The Hippocrates class has some notable differences from the standard Miranda class design. Twenty-five percent of the internal hull is dedicated to laboratory facilities for rapid identification and treatment generation of viruses and pathogens. The starboard hanger has been re-designed to be a dedicated multi-level ward. The remaining hanger has three dedicated ambulance shuttles.
These vessels were upgraded in the late-2270s when the New Technology revolution spread beyond the priority cruisers and defensive vessels. Hippocrates class ships were processed through the yards and rebuilt, with additional new members of the class being built to supplement them. From the 2260s to the 2290s, this was the principal hospital ship of the Federation. With the expansion of the Federation reaching further out, and the experiences with plasma plague on Oby V in 2295, Starfleet Medical petitioned for a larger hospital ship for the top-end medical disasters and the Solace class became the principal medical ship.
Currently Starfleet Medical has 46 Hippocrates class light hospital ships in their fleet. There are no plans to decommission any of these and refits will be authorised as Solace class ships take on the larger medical missions. The Hippocrates class still remains the principal hospital ship design of Starfleet Medical, with the Hecla class providing first response and the Solace class more extensive response for casualties. Due to the aging of the Mercy class AHH, some of these vessels were drydocked and extensively rebuilt in the 2290s as a new Heavy Hospital Ship (AHH) variant - see next section.
Hippocrates (stretch variant AHH - designed by Jackill)
With the Mercy class Daedalus variant starship showing its age, and the compromise of having one hanger as a medical ward section, Starfleet Medical looked to modify the design to produce a stopgap Heavy Hospital Ship (AHH). The Hippocrates design was taken and strected backwards, allowing both of the Miranda-style hangers to remain as hangers (doubling the shuttle capacity to six) and allowing more ward space than even the original Hippocrates class.
This variant of Hippocrates class ship was only produced in small numbers. This became the principal large hospital ship for Starfleet Medical over the late 2290s and 2300s, right up to the commissioning of the Solace class. Starfleet drydocked a proportion of the original Hippocrates class with a view to extending the hull aftwards.
The difficulty with the original Hippocrates class is that the design sacrifices one of the hanger bays in order to get a multi-level ward into the hull shape. This new variant would not only restore the capacity of hangers and shuttlecraft but it would also allow a larger medical ward capability than even the original Hippocrates class had.
The new design wasn't without doubters in Starfleet Headquarters; this was a compromise design after all and this was readily apparent. The new Solace class was still at least a decade away, but when launched would be the cutting edge replacement that Starfleet Medical really needed. With the options of the Hippocrates (stretch) and tugs hauling medical pods to disaster areas as the long-term response, this stop-gap was accepted.
U.S.S. Rick Jolly, NCC-2055.
Named for the famed medic Doctor Rick Jolly of ‘Red and Green life machine’ fame from the Falklands War. This Hippocrates class AHL has found itself in many bushfire conflicts along the Federation border region, improving medical facilities like its namesake from the 1980s. Captain Panzil Darkker runs a tight ship, yet will do all he can to ensure the aid gets through to those who need it. The Centauran is a devout pacifist and the assignment to Starfleet Medical suited his beliefs.
The Rick Jolly is currently assigned from Starbase 15 'Pharos'.