Russell Stoneham Hospital
30 Perry Street, Crayford, Kent DA1 4SH
Medical dates:

Medical character:
1935 - 1976

In 1933 Orchard House, a large Victorian house in Perry Street with a fair-sized garden, was presented by members of the Russell Stoneham family to the people of Crayford for use as a hospital.  The family gave a 999-year lease to the property at a peppercorn rent.

The Russell Stoneham Memorial Hospital opened in 1935.  It had 22 beds (in public wards and in private rooms) for mainly maternity cases, and a modern operating theatre.  The Hospital had no Medical Committee and was run by the Matron under a lay committee.  One third of the patients were looked after by their GPs, with the remaining two-thirds by midwives only.

The population of Crayford, which had been 7,000 in 1914, had increased to 23,000 by 1936 (mainly employed by Vickers and other large firms).

In 1942 some 469 cases were admitted to the Hospital, of which 436 were maternity and 33 general patients.

In 1943 the number of beds was increased to 30.  The Hospital still dealt mainly with maternity and antenatal cases, with a few general 'clean' cases admitted to the maternity wards.  The nursing staff consisted of 6 midwives. 11 nurses and 6 assistant nurses.  The wards on the ground and first floors contained 5, 6 or 7 beds each.  There were two single rooms for private patients at a cost of 12 guineas (£12.60) a fortnight (the length of stay for maternity care), and one 2-bedded ward at 10 gns (£10.50) a fortnight.  The remaining wards were referred to as 'white wards' at 8 gns (£8.40) for two weeks or 'brown' at 6 gns (£6.30) a fortnight (5 gns (£5.25) for servicemen's wives.  Patients received three cooked meals a day.

Before the war few Caesarean sections were carried out at the Hospital, as all complicated cases were referred to the County Hospital at Dartford or to Maidstone County Hospital.  Patients needing X-ray examination were sent to Hainault Maternity Hospital in Erith.

In 1948 the Hospital joined the NHS under the control of the Woolwich Group Hospital Management Committee, part of the South East Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board.  It had 30 beds for maternity patients.

Somewhere along the way, the word 'Memorial' was dropped from the Hospital's title.

In 1974, following a major reorganisation of the NHS, the Hospital came under the administration of the Greenwich and Bexley Area Health Authority, part of the South East Thames Regional Health Authority.

It closed in 1974 while under the control of the Bexley District Health Authority.

Present status (March 2009)

The former Hospital building is now part of Victoria Scott Court, a sheltered housing complex provided by Housing 21.
Russell Stoneham House

The former Hospital building, now part of Victoria Scott Court (above).  The building, as seen from Perry Street (below).
Russell Stoneham Hospital

Russell Stoneham Hospital
The right-hand gable bears a stone plaque dated 1868.
Russell Stoneham Hospital  
The footpath to Victoria Scott Court from Perry Street.

Russell Stoneham Hospital 
Russell Stoneham Hospital
Extensions have been added to the original building.

  Russell Stoneham Hospital
The wall of the former Hospital survives, with new roads and housing developed in the grounds and in the area to the north.  Moreton Court, at 26 Perry Street, was built by Perryview Housing Cooperative Ltd. on the site of the lodge of the former Hospital, and provides apartments for elderly people.

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