Barnes Hospital
South Worple Way, East Sheen, SW14 8SU
Medical dates:

Medical character:
1889 - current

Infectious diseases. Later, geriatric

The Barnes Isolation Hospital opened in 1889 for the treatment and care of patients with infectious diseases such as diphtheria and scarlet fever.

It joined the NHS in 1948 under the control of the Kingston Group Hospital Management Committee, part of the South West Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board. With the advent of antibiotics, by 1949 it was mainly unoccupied and it was decided to recondition the buildings for use as a hospital for chronic long-term patients.  Any fever patients were referred to Tolworth Hospital.

It was renamed Barnes Hospital.  It had no Resident Medical Officer, but a geriatrician was appointed in 1954, paid for jointly by the Kingston Group Hospital Management Committee and the Surrey County Council. It had 90 beds.

The wards were broad and light, and contained double the number of the beds originally intended for an isolation hospital (fever beds were usually centred 12 feet apart). The doorways were fitted with ramps so that patients could be wheeled outdoors in fine weather.  The Hospital had a wireless set (radio) but only one speaker, so that all the patients had to listen whether they wanted to or not.

Gradually the number of beds was increased and, by 1955, there were 114 beds with 98% occupancy.  In 1956 only geriatric patients were admitted.

By 1976 there were 100 beds and, by 1976, these had reduced to 60.

In 2001 the existing buildings of the Hospital were extensively renovated and a new extension added.

Present status (October 2008)

The site  is now managed by the South West London and St George's Mental Health NHS Trust.

The Hospital consists of the Out-Patients Department (Linstead Lodge), a Day Hospital, various wards (also named Lodges) and the Enid Balint Centre.  It has 63 beds and provides services to the elderly mentally ill.

UPDATE:  March 2021

The in-patient beds closed in 2013.

The Trust plans to completely redevelop the site, considering it underused.  

The site is to be split into three parts:  the western part would be given over to new housing, while the eastern half would contain a modern mental health care faciility at the north and a Special Education Needs School for 50-90 pupils at the south.   Planning permission was granted in September 2020.

In 2019 services were transferred to the Hospital from the Royal Richmond Hospital, as that site is also being redeveloped.

Enic Balint Centre
The Enid Balint Centre is housed in one of the original buildings.  This one bears the date '1904'.

Barnes Hospital
Looking past the exit gates and the Enid Balint Centre on the right into the Hospital site.

Barnes Hospital  Barnes Hospital
The entrance to the Hospital is at the east gates (left).  Looking into the east drive towards Riverside Lodge (right).

Barnes Hospital
Fleming Lodge, one of the older buildings in the centre of the site.

Barnes Hospital  Barnes Hospital
Bungalow-level buildings in the interior of the site.  

Barnes Hospital
One of the original ward buildings of the fever hospital.
References (Accessed 27th March 2021)

www.swlstg.nhs.uk (1)
www.swlstg.nhs.uk (2)
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