|LOST HOSPITALS OF LONDON|
Cranmer Road, Mitcham, Surrey CR4 4TP
|1928 - 1990
Acute. Later, orthopaedics, geriatric
The Wilson Cottage Hospital was officially opened in 1928 by Princess Mary Vicountess Lascelles. Built on a 4.5 acre site, it had been gifted to the community by a successful local businessman, Sir Isaac Wilson, after whom it was named.
The Hospital had 32 beds - a male and female ward, each with 10 beds, a 6-bedded ward for children and 4 private patient rooms.
Located on the ground floor were the operating theatre, a sterilising room, an X-ray Department and a Violet Ray treatment room, and a Casualty Department with 2 emergency beds.
In 1933 the building was extended and the Hospital then had 40 beds. Two of the main wards were on the ground floor and two on the floor above. Since there was no Nurses'Home, the top floor was used as residential quarters for the nursing staff. The word 'Cottage' was dropped from its title and it became the Wilson Hospital.
In 1935 an Out-Patients and operating theatre block was built.
During WW2 it remained intact until 1944, when it was hit by a V1 flying bomb. One ward was destroyed.
In 1946 a nearby house was bought for use as a Night Nurses' Home.
In 1948 the Hospital joined the NHS under the control of the St Helier Group Hospital Management Committee, part of the South West Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board.
By 1952 the Hospital had 66 beds. The bomb-damaged ward still awaited repair.
Two chalets, once used as sleeping accommodation for patients at the Cheam Sanatorium, were relocated to the Hospital for use as summer houses - one for the male patients and the other for nurses using the tennis courts.
In 1953 the weekly cost of an in-patient was £14 2s 2d (£14.11).
In 1956 the 10-bedded ward that had been demolished by the flying bomb was rebuilt and opened as the Physiotherapy Department. The Casualty Department was also enlarged. The Hospital had 66 beds.
In October 1959 a new Pathology Laboratory opened. The facilities were to be shared with the Cumberland Hospital, which had also been built by Sir Isaac Wilson. The building also contained a Board Room and an office for the Hospital Secretary on the upper floor. The old Board Room on the ground floor was converted into a porters' Duty Room, while on the first floor the space was divided into a Dining Room for the resident doctors (so that they would no longer have to eat in their Sitting Room) and an office each for the medical secretaries. While the work was being carried on, 18 convalescent patients had been transferred to Wandle Valley Hospital.
In 1958 the weekly cost of an in-patient was £24 2s 2d (£24.11) and, in the following year £27 10s 4d (£27.52).
In 1965 the weekly cost of an in-patient was £43 8s 4d (£43.42), which increased to £49 1s 1d (£49.05) in 1966. The Hospital had 67 beds, 4 of which were closed due to lack of staff.
In July 1967 an extension to the Casualty Department opened.
In 1970 the weekly cost of an in-patient was £69.04. This rose to £84.07 in 1971.
By the late 1980s the Hospital was offering mainly out-patient services and elective orthopaedic surgery, with some geriatric beds.
In 1990 the in-patient services were transferred to Sutton Hospital, in line with government policy at that time. The district health authority, looking for office accommodation, moved into the vacated space.
Present status (March 2008)
The Wilson Hospital, for reasons only known to the NHS, has become 'The Wilson'.
The locally listed building is now mainly empty, but partially used as offices for the Merton, Sutton & Wandsworth District Health Authority. Some clinical facilities remain on site, offering dental care, mental health care and health visitor services; there is also a blood clinic.
The local campaign to return the building to a hospital function has met with some success. Discussions are now underway with the Sutton and Mitcham Primary Care Trust about relaunching the Hospital as The Wilson Local Care Centre. The original frontage of the building would be retained.
Update: May 2016
The Wilson Health Centre is now open.
Signage for the various facilities on site - the Wilson Clinic, the Merton Community Drug Team, the E and W Mitcham Community Mental Team, Committee Rooms and SWL Support Services Partnership.
The building as seen from the east.
The main entrance.
The west wing.
The east side.
UPDATE: May 2016
The Wilson is little changed.
The Hospital name is still above the main entrance.
Signage to the GP Healthcare and Walk-In Centre (above) points to a pre-fabricated building (below).
The Wilson Health Centre opened in 2010 and is run by Concordia Health Ltd.
Only the signage has changed. Previously listed as under the Sutton and Merton Primary Care Trust, the sign simply says 'NHS' (PCTs were abolished in 2013). Now the site contains a Rehabilitation Centre, the Merton Drug and Alcohol Recovery Team, the Merton Adult Recovery and Support Team, the CDAS and Committee Rooms.
The entrance driveway.
The exit driveway.
The lodge adjacent to the exit driveway.
|References (Accessed 11th May 2016)
Smith M, Sakula A 1994 Hospital Names. London, RSM Press.
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