|LOST HOSPITALS OF LONDON|
Lennard Road, Bromley Common, Bromley, Kent BR2 8LW
|1885 - 1984
Isolation. Later, geriatric
The Bromley and Beckenham Joint Isolation Hospital opened in Lower Gravel Road in 1885 as a fever hospital. (This section of Lower Gravel Road became known locally as Hospital Road, before being renamed Lennard Road around 1935).
During times of epidemics, patients had to be accommodated in tents set up in the Hospital grounds.
During the 1920s a new Hospital was built on the site. As it received patients referred from the whole of west Kent, it was renamed the West Kent Isolation Hospital.
By 1944 it had 118 beds and cots.
The Hospital joined the NHS in 1948 under the control of the Mid Kent Hospital Management Committee, part of the South East Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board. It had 135 beds. It was later renamed the Lennard Hospital, after Sir John Lennard, a member of an influential local family who had been the Chairman of the Board of Guardians of Farnborough workhouse at the end of the 18th century.
By 1954 the Hospital had 80 beds. With the introduction of antibiotics for the treatment of infectious diseases, there was no need for an isolation hospital and by 1962 it had become a geriatric hospital.
In 1972 it had 83 beds. A new concept of nursing was introduced - the 5-day ward - which was funded by the Queen's Nursing Institute and the King Edward Hospital Fund for London. Under this arrangement, patients stayed at the Hospital for five days and returned home for the weekends. The average stay of in-patients was four weeks.
The Hospital finally closed in 1984 as a result of financial pressures on the Bromley Health Authority. In-patients were transferred to Farnborough Hospital (where the 5-day ward system was abandoned), while services for the Day Hospital moved to Beckenham Hospital.
Present status (July 2008)
The Hospital site was sold in 1985 for £672,000. The vacant building became derelict and was demolished.
The site has become a housing estate, although parts of the wall and fence look original.
Some brick wall and old fencing remain on the southeast part of Lennard Road.
New housing on the site of the Hospital.
The top of Jackson Road was previously known as Skym Corner, a hamlet just outside Bromley Common.
In 1907 a smallpox hospital had been built deep in the woods of nearby Crofton Heath. It was rarely used and closed in 1956. The site now appears to be private property and the gate across the lane is padlocked.
|References (Accessed 13th November 2015)
Leader RA 1944 Annual Report of the Medical Officer of Health. Borough of Erith, 61.
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