LOST HOSPITALS OF LONDON
40-41 Queen Square, WC1
1884 - 1990
The Ospedale Italiano was founded in 1884 by a successful Italian businessman, Commendatore Giovanni Battista (John) Ortelli, who had become aware of the language difficulties faced by his compatriots in London hospitals.
The Commendatore donated two houses in Queen Square which
were later demolished and a new building erected in 1898. The
main wards were in the front of the building, with smaller ones at the
back along with single rooms for private patients or cases that needed
to be isolated. For infectious cases, there was a separate block
at the back of the building, with its own bathroom and kitchen and
bedroom for the nurse in attendance. The Hospital chapel was
at the top of the main building, with a corridor past it leading to the
flat roof, where convalescent patients could play games and enjoy the
fresh air. The Hospital had a large passenger lift, as well as a
service lift for food to be sent from the kitchen to the wards.
The Sisters of St Vincent de Paul, with their distinctive
uniforms, provided the nursing care.
During WW1 the Hospital was affiliated to the Fourth London General Hospital, with 60 of its beds reserved for sick and wounded servicemen.
The former Hospital building on the corner of Queen Square and Boswell Street.
The plaque to the Commendatore on the corner of the building.
The main entrance (above) with the coat-of-arms above the door (below).
The eastern elevation along Boswell Street (left), with the tower, as seen from Ormond Close, which joins the two buildings of the former Hospital (right).
Looking north along Boswell Street towards Queen Square (left). The southern elevation along an alley joining Boswell Street to Old Goucester Street (right).
The white stucco building of the former Italian Hospital is next door to the Mary Ward Centre on the southern side of Queen Square.
(Author unstated) 1901 The Italian Hospital, Queen Square. Nursing Record and Hospital World, 21st December, 503.
(Author unstated) 1917 List of the various hospitals treating military cases in the United Kingdom. London, H.M.S.O.
(Author unstated) 1933 The Hospital World. British Journal of Nursing (June), 174.
Black N 2006 Walking London's Medical History. London, Royal Society of Medicine Press.
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