Newham University Hospital
Glen Road, Plaistow, E13 8SL
Medical dates:

Medical character:
1983 - current

Newham General Hospital was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 14th December 1983.  It had been built to replace the East Ham Memorial Hospital and Queen Mary's Hospital for the East End, which both closed that year.

Built of reinforced concrete on a disused landfill site of 5 hectares to the south of the Northern Outfall Sewer (the Greenway), the Hospital had 301 beds.  It was under the management of Newham District Health Authority, part of the North East Thames Regional Health Authority.

Known in its early planning stages as the Woodside Hospital or the Newham Nucleus Hospital, it was one of the first hospitals to be built in the 'nucleus' style - a standardised design developed in 1975 in response to the escalation of hospital building costs.  The first phase - the 'nucleus' - was the completion of a self-contained basic hospital at a cost of no more than £6m.  The nucleus could easily be extended to meet demands when capital became available.

Two years later a Maternity Department was added.  When this opened in 1985, the Newham Maternity Hospital closed.

On 18th February 1986 'Phase 2' of the Hospital was completed.  The new 2-storey buildings were opened by Diana, Princess of Wales.  They contained additional maternity beds, a Special Care Baby Unit, a Rehabilitation Department and an Academic Centre.  The Hospital then had 403 beds.

In 1991, following a major reorganisation of the NHS and the introduction of the 'marketplace' system of purchasers and providers, the Hospital came under the control of the Newham Healthcare NHS Trust, one of the first trusts to be established under the new system.

In 1994 the Hospital roof was replaced but, five years later, a new aluminium pitched roof was built over this.

In 1999 a mental healthcare unit was added to the site.

In 2000 two more 2-storey buildings were added - a Women's Centre and an Ambulatory Care Centre - as well as a single-storey Scanner Unit and Children's Day Nursery.  The eastern car park was enlarged.

In 2001 the Hospital had 344 beds.

In 2004 it was renamed the Newham University Hospital.

The Gateway Surgical Centre opened in 2005.  It contained 39 beds (12 of which are for day surgery), a renal unit and 3 operating theatres.  The stand-alone facility was from the start managed by the Barts and The London NHS Trust.

In 2009 the Hospital was extended again, with a 2-storey extension between Blocks 11 and 12 to enlarge the maternity department.  Two single-storey extensions were added to provide a larger waiting area and two counselling rooms.

On 1st April 2012 the Newham University Hospital NHS Trust merged with the Barts and The London NHS Trust and Whipps Cross University Hospital NHS Trust to form the Barts Health NHS Trust.

In March 2015, following a reported £93m deficit, the Barts Health NHS Trust was put into 'special measures'.

Present status (January 2016)

The Hospital is still operational with 452 beds.  It consists of six 2-storey buildings in a row.  The main entrance is on the east side.

The population of the Borough of Newham is one of the most diverse, youngest and fastest growing in the United Kingdom.  Newham has the highest birth rate in London; the Hospital deals with about 7,200 deliveries a year.  The Borough also has the highest prevalence of tuberculosis in the country.

N.B. Photographs obtained November 2008

Newham University Hospital
The main entrance on the eastern side.

Newham University Hospital
The western entrance.

Newham University Hospital

The southern side of the Hospital, seen from the west on Glen Road (above and below).

Newham University Hospital

Newham University Hospital
The War Memorial plaque from the Stepney and Poplar Sick Asylum in Bow (which was later renamed St Andrew's Hospital commemorating the staff of the Asylum killed during WW1.

N.B. Photographs obtained January 2016

Newham University Hospital

The appearance of the Hospital
(above and below), as seen from Glen Road, has not changed much in eight years.

Newham University Hospital

Newham University Hospital
The main entrance on the eastern side.

Newham University Hospital
The modular nature of the Hospital design can be seen on the site map.  The Gateway Surgical Centre has been built to the southeast of the Hospital.

Gateway Surgical Centre
The western elevation of the Gateway Surgical Centre.

Newham University Hospital
The northern elevation of the Gateway Surgical Centre.

References (Accessed 15th January 2016)

Black S 1979 Newham - the first total nucleus hospital. Hospital Development 7, 12-13.

Cherry B, O'Brien C, Pevsner N  2005 London 5: East.  New Haven, Yale University Press.

Francis S, Glanville R, Noble A, Scher P 1999 50 Years of Ideas in Health Care Buildings.  London, Nuffield Trust.

Sloane RP 1979 Newham Nucleus hospital.   Hospital and Health Service Review 75, 420-422.

Smith J 1984 Hospital building in the NHS.  Ideas and designs II: harness and nucleus.  British Medical Journal 289 (6457) 1513-1516.

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