Aldersbrook Maternity Hospital
Aldersbrook Road, Wanstead, E11 3RJ
Medical dates:

Medical character:
1946 - 1957

In March 1946 the East Ham Public Health Committee debated the need for additional accommodation for maternity patients within the Borough.  Following this, a visit was arranged by the Town Clerk for officials from the Ministry of Health to visit the Aldersbrook Children's Homes with a view to using the Nursery Block, built in 1933 by the County Borough, as a temporary maternity hospital.

The premises were found to be suitable and the first part of the Aldersbrook Maternity Hospital opened on 14th October 1946. The Hospital was finally completed and officially opened on 1st March 1947.   It had 21 beds.

The nursing staff consisted of a Matron, an Assistant Matron, 4 staff midwives and 12 assistant nurses.  Other staff included a cook, a relief cook and 6 domestic helpers.

The lying-in wards were named after flowers - Heather, Rose, Acacia, Hyacinth, Primrose and Snowdrop, while the labour wards were Lavender and Laburnum.  The Admissions Ward was called Keene Ward and the children's nursery ward was named Peter Pan.  Patients were charged 7 guineas (£7.35) - or 5 guineas (£5.25) for concessions - for the period of their stay (not exceeding two weeks).

As it was a temporary hospital, it was not covered by the National Health Service Act, 1946, and no formal appropriation was made for it by the Ministry of Health.  The Hospital did not join the NHS in 1948 and continued to be administered by the Maternity and Child Welfare Sub-Committee of the East Ham Council.  However, the Forest Group Hospital Management Committee (part of the North East Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board) was invited to suggest two of its members for co-option on to the Sub-Committee.

In 1950 administrative control was transferred to the West Ham Group Hospital Management Committee.  In 1951 the Hospital had 20 beds and, in 1954, 26 beds.

The Hospital closed in 1957.

Present status (March 2009)

In 1963 the Hospital building became the Aldersbrook Unit, an annexe for the East Ham Memorial Hospital.

The  building has since been demolished and its site is now Alders Close.

Alders Close  Alders Close
Alders Close.
Much of the information on this Hospital was provided by the East Ham Council minute books filed at the Archives & Local Studies Department at Stratford Library, and grateful acknowledgement is given to the members of staff for their help.  (The Library closed for refurbishment on 1st October 2011 and is expected to re-open in the spring of 2012.)

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