|LOST HOSPITALS OF LONDON|
Cray Valley Hospital
Sandy Lane, St Paul's Cray, Orpington, Kent BR5 3HY
|1884 - 1974 (1979)
General, including maternity. Later, geriatric.
The Chislehurst, Sidcup and Cray Valley Cottage Hospital opened in 1884, having been established by the Chislehurst, Sidcup and Cray Valley Medical and Surgical Aid Society in 1882.
The Hospital was substantially rebuilt in 1924.
By the 1930s it was known variously as the Chislehurst, Orpington and Cray Valley Hospital or, more simply, as the Cray Valley Cottage Hospital.
In 1938 the Hospital had 30 beds.
During WW2 it joined the Emergency Medical Service with 35 beds under the control of Guy's Hospital.
It joined the NHS in 1948 under the control of the Sidcup and Swanley Hospital Management Committee, part of the South East Metropolitan Hospital Board. It had 31 beds and undertook general medical and surgical treatment. The average length of stay for an in-patient was 13 days.
On 19th April 1951 a Maternity Unit opened at the Hospital. It had 10 beds and was the only dedicated maternity unit within the Sidcup and Swanley Group. In 1949 some 46 babies had been born at the Hospital, which doubled to 98 in 1950. When the new Unit opened, 164 babies were born during 1951, the number increasing to 220 in 1952 and 249 in 1953.
By 1954 it had 35 beds. The average length of stay for an in-patient was 16 days.
In 1962, following a minor reorganisation of the NHS, the Hospital came under the administration of the Sidcup Group Hospital Management Committee.
In 1974, after a major reorganisation of the NHS, the Hospital came under the control of the Greenwich and Bexley Area Health Authority, part of the South East Thames Regional Health Authority. It finally closed that year, when new ward facilities were made available for General Practitioners at the newly built Queen Mary's Hospital in Sidcup.
The Regional Health Authority had agreed that the Hospital building could be used as a temporary smallpox isolation unit until a new unit could be built at Joyce Green Hospital (as the usual smallpox facility, Long Reach Hospital, was being demolished for work on the Thames Barrier). Some £15,000 was allocated to the conversion of Cray Valley Hospital and the local authorities agreed to close part of the road leading to the Hospital, should the need arise.
Although it never seems to have been used, the building remained available as a smallpox facility until 1979, although the work at the Joyce Green Hospital was completed early in 1977.
Present status (August 2008)
The original Hospital building still exists and is now part of a leisure complex containing LA Fitness and the Bromley Ski and Snowboard Centre.
The former Hospital (above and below).
Buildings behind the former Hospital form the leisure centre.
Allfrey CH 1882 Ambulance service. British Medical Journal 1 (1102), 211.
(Author unstated) 1962 The 'Disappearing' Hospitals. British Medical Journal 1 (5274), 323-331.
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