|LOST HOSPITALS OF LONDON|
Strood Isolation Hospital
Whitehill Lane, Gravesend, Kent D12 5TD
|1890s ? - 1939
Isolation, infectious diseases
At around the end of the 19th century the Strood Rural District Council opened an isolation hospital just to the north of the Gravesend Sanatorium.
By the 1930s it consisted of four blocks, three of which were made of brick and one of corrugated iron, placed 40 feet (12.3 metres) away from each other and the boundary fence. There was also a hand laundry, a disinfection station with a Thresh Disinfector and a garage for the motor ambulance.
The Hospital had 36 beds. Each bed was allocated 144 sq ft (14 sq metres) of floor to prevent cross- or reinfection. Block A was the diphtheria ward with a male and a female ward and 4 small wards. Block B, the scarlet fever block, was similar. The third block - Block C - for smallpox or enteric fever patients also had male and female wards and 3 small wards.
However, although the Hospital had an electricity supply, it badly needed modernising. Each ward was heated by a fire. The sewage from the administration block was collected in a cess pool, but the wards used a bucket system, with the contents burnt in an incinerator.
During 1937 some 41 patients were admitted.
In 1937 the scarlet fever block was redecorated internally and externally, and new WCs and slop sinks installed. In 1938 similar work was undertaken to the diphtheria block, while an Aga cooker was installed in the kitchen and the garage extended.
During 1938 some 121 patients were admitted, staying on average for 40 days.
It had been suggested by Gravesend Medical Officer of Health that the Hospital amalgamate with the neighbouring Sanatorium, but this proposal was rejected by the Rural District Council on the grounds that its Hospital had been built with public funds, but the Sanatorium had been built from loans and was still saddled with heavy annual payments.
The newly refurbished Hospital closed at the outbreak of WW2 in 1939 when the buildings were requisitioned by R.A.F. Gravesend.
Present status (April 2011)
After the war the Council decided that the Hospital was redundant. It therefore never re-opened.
The site has been completely redeveloped and no trace of the Hospital remains.
The location of the driveway to the Hospital on the former Whitehill Lane, now Valley Drive.
The site of the Hospital, shown from the north (above) and the south (below), is now occupied by Read Way.
|References (Accessed 21st April 2016)
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