|LOST HOSPITALS OF LONDON|
Ewell Park Hospital
London Road, Stoneleigh, Epsom, Surrey KT17 2NR
|1948 - late 1960s
In 1948, with the introduction of the NHS, Ewell Park, formerly known as Stoneleigh, became an annexe for Epsom District Hospital to relieve pressure on acute beds.
The old Victorian mansion, which stood in pleasant grounds, had been an old people's home since 1925, run by Surrey County Council.
The building was internally redecorated and it became Ewell Park Hospital with 70 beds for chronically ill men.
In the early 1950s most patients stayed on average for a year. The average occupancy of the beds was 59 (84%).
In 1955, of the 70 patients, about 45 were discharged home. The remainder stayed indefinitely - on average about 143 days.
While the big windows ensured that the rooms were well-lit during the day, and the lighting had been improved, most wards were still lit by a single bulb in the centre of the room. Although there was a food lift, there was no passenger lift - and the central wooden staircase was inconvenient for stretchers. The most immobile patients were accommodated on the top floor, and the most active on the ground floor so they would have access to the gardens.
The nurses' bedrooms were in a converted stable block, but the rooms were uncared for and the roof leaked. Eleven members of staff lived in.
In 1959 a Day Room was added. An electric escalator chair was installed, paid for by Mr G.B. Edwards of Headley, following the death of his brother, who had been a patient at the Hospital.
By the end of the 1950s, average bed occupancy was 90%, while the weekly cost of an in-patient was £12 13s 11d (£12.70).
By 1965 the weekly cost of an in-patient had increased to £18 9s 4d (£18.47), with an average bed occupancy of 94%.
The Hospital closed at the end of the 1960s.
Present status (May 2009)
In 1971 it was planned to convert the building into a hostel for students from Ewell Technology College, but this later changed to a Youth Centre. Neither plan, it seems, was realised.
The mansion was demolished. New roads were laid and new housing built on its site.
The entrance to Ewell Park Gardens, a private gated close.
The site of the Hospital is now occupied by housing in Ewell Park Gardens.
New housing in Elmwood Drive, once the site of the Hospital gardens.
Retirement housing in Elmwood Close, at the south of the Hospital site, is managed by the Rosebery Housing Association.
|References (Accessed 2nd August 2015)
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