Royal Eye Hospital
6, St George's Circus, Southwark, SE1 0BA
Medical dates:

Medical character:
1892 - 1980

Founded in 1857 by John Zachariah Laurence (1829-1870) with the assistance of Carsten Holthouse (1810-1901), the South London Ophthalmic Hospital opened in a house in St George's Circus, Southwark.  It had two beds.

In 1860 the house next door was acquired and it was renamed the Surrey Ophthalmic Hospital.

In 1863 it was renamed again, becoming the Ophthalmic Hospital.  In 1899 it became the Royal South London Ophthalmic Hospital.  In 1892 it moved to new larger premises at the northwest corner of St George's Circus and was renamed the Royal Eye Hospital.

In WW1 it became a section hospital of the First London (T.F.) General Hospital, with 18 beds for servicemen with eye injuries.

During WW2 the Hospital was badly damaged by bombing in 1941, and the wards had to be closed.  The Out-Patients' Department continued to function but the wards reopened the following year in a house in Upper Brighton Road in Surbiton.

In 1944 the Hospital was able to reopen 28 beds.  Beds were also made available for its patients at the Lambeth Hospital.

In 1948 it joined the NHS and became part of the King's College Hospital Group until 1956, when it asked to be transferred to the Lambeth group.

In 1973, following another NHS reorganisation, the Hospital transferred to the St Thomas's Hospital group, while the Surbiton branch came under the control of the Kingston and Richmond Area Health Authority.

In 1976 a Royal Eye Hospital ward opened at the newly built St Thomas's Hospital  (there is no mention of this ward on the current St Thomas's Hospital website) and the in-patients side of the Southwark building closed.

 The Out-Patients' Department closed in 1980.

Present status (January 2008)

The buildings were taken over by Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham Area Health Authority for office accommodation, and then by Lewisham and North Southwark Health Authority.  

The Hospital
later became derelict and was demolished.  The site is now occupied by McLaren House, a hall of residence for students at London South Bank University.
The lodge
 McLaren House opened in 1996.
References (Accessed 6th November 2014)

(Author unstated) 1917
List of the various hospitals treating military cases in the United Kingdom.  London, H.M.S.O.

Mowbray P 1980 Leonora Maclean and the Royal Eye Hospital. London, privately published.

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