|LOST HOSPITALS OF LONDON|
Seddon Road, Mitcham, Surrey SM4 6DT
|1869 - 1940
In 1900 the Home moved from Woodford Hall in Epping Forest to Ravensbury Park House in Mitcham, a large mansion which had been built in 1864 and set in 7 acres of grounds.
The Home had 42 beds - 28 for women and 12 for children, and one isolation bed and one isolation cot. Poor patients from the East End continued to be received from the London Hospital without payment of any kind. However, a special ward was opened so that convalescent male surgical patients could receive care for a small weekly charge.
In 1920 some 747 had been admitted, of whom 294 were men, 348 women, 48 boys and 57 girls. Most had been referred direct from the London Hospital. Most stayed for a period of three weeks, but 35 were readmitted, that is, allowed to stay an extra three weeks or more after their initial three weeks. Six patients had to be returned to their referring hospital as being too ill for a convalescent home, but 392 were discharged as being quite well and 225 greatly improved. The Home also undertook surgical work, mostly successfully; only 4 of the 41 patients sent for surgery from St Thomas' Hospital had to return. On average, the weekly cost of an in-patient was 1 shilling (5p).
During WW1 the Home became the Catherine Gladstone Relief Hospital, an auxiliary military hospital with 60 beds for wounded and sick servicemen. It was affiliated to the London Hospital, which had become a section of the Bethnal Green Military Hospital. In 1916 the Home celebrated its Jubilee year.
After the war Morden Hall, which had also been an auxiliary hospital to the London Hospital, became an annexe for the Home.
In 1922, the Home suffered a crisis in its affairs and was offered, with an endowment of £20,137, to the London Hospital for use as an annexe. The Hospital was unable to accept the offer because of financial constraints and referred the Trustees to the Marie Celeste Samaritan Society, which had just closed its own home at Whipps Cross. The Society, which provided social welfare services for the Hospital, agreed to run the home as its agents. It paid for structural alterations to the Home and installed electric lighting and new furniture.
The Home was 're-opened' officially on 19th November 1923 by the Minister of Health, Sir William Joynson-Hicks, and continued to provide convalescence for the mothers of large families, especially from the East End referred by the London Hospital. The Home acquired a Lancia ambulance to transport the patients from the East End to Mitcham.
The Home closed in 1940 following the outbreak of WW2.
Present status (October 2009)
The Home was demolished during the 1940s. Housing and a school now occupy the site of the Home and its gardens.
An apartment block (part of Lyle Court) at the corner of Bishopsford Road and Seddon Road.
Semi-detached houses in the grounds of the former Home along Seddon Road (left). Semi-detached houses along Bishopsford Road (right).
The entrance to the Bishopsford Community School on Lillieshall Road (left). The original location of the school at the southern corner of Lillieshall Road is now occupied by Lyle Court (right).
(Author unstated) 1906 Reflections from a Board Room mirror. British Journal of Nursing, 24th March, 243.
(Author unstated) 1911 (Untitled). British Medical Journal, 1st April, 789.
(Author unstated) 1916 Nursing echoes. British Journal of Nursing, 16th September, 237.
(Author unstated) 1917 List of the various hospitals treating military cases in the United Kingdom. London, H.M.S.O.
Goodman JA 2002 The Catherine Gladstone Home, Morden. Merton Historical Society Bulletin 141 (March), 16.
Isba A 2006 Gladstone and Women. London, Hambledon Continuum.
Pratt EA 1898 Catherine Gladstone: Life, Good Works, and Political Efforts. London, Sampson Low Marston.
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