About this site

When I first came to London in 1966 central London contained many hospitals.  Gradually, over the years, these have vanished and the buildings they occupied sold for redevelopment.

This website is in memory of all the hospitals that have closed in London since the NHS came into being in 1948. Not all hospitals have completely disappeared.  Some have moved into new purpose-built premises, such as the Royal Free Hospital and St. George's Hospital.  Others, like St. Mark's Hospital and Queen Charlotte's, have been absorbed into other hospitals (Northwick Park Hospital and Hammersmith Hospital, respectively) while maintaining their own identity. Others, like the '3 Ps' (St. Paul's. St. Philip's and St. Peter's in Covent Garden) were absorbed by the Middlesex Hospital - until that too closed down and moved to the new PFI-built University College Hospital.

Reasons for closure varied.  Some buildings had become too dilapidated while some were too small to accommodate modern equipment, such as MRI scanners, and some had no amenities for disabled patients.  Even in the face of immense public protest and opposition, closures still went ahead. Maternity hospitals have now all vanished, as have most hospitals with 'Memorial' in their name.  General hospitals sometimes became geriatric care hospitals before they too finally closed.

The symptoms of a hospital about to be extinguished are:
  • if the hospital has one, the casualty department is closed;
  • ancillary staff who leave are not replaced and posts are left unfilled so that permanent staff frequently are outnumbered by agency staff;
  • obsolete equipment is not replaced or repaired;
  • building maintenance and repairs are not carried out, so that conditions seriously deteriorate for patients and staff.  

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Click here to go to alphabetical list of hospitals