A brief history of healthcare provision in London

In the Middle Ages care of the sick and infirm was mainly provided by the church, in particular monastries, while almshouses were established by pious benefactors to house destitute people.

In London only three major medieval hospitals survived the Dissolution - St Bartholomew's Hospital, St Thomas's Hospital and St Mary of Bethlehem (Bethlem) Hospital.


Voluntary hospitals

        General hospitals

Cottage hospitals

        Isolation hospitals

        Specialist hospitals

Infant Welfare Centres

Maternity hospitals

Mental hospitals

Convalescent homes

Homes for inebriates

Homes for the aged

Military hospitals

Auxilary Hospitals during WW1

       Voluntary Aid Detachments

      Almeric Paget Massage Corps

       Orthopaedic and Tropical Clinics

Poor Law Hospitals


The Metropolitan Asylums Board (MAB)

Smallpox and fever hospitals

Smallpox hospital ships

River Ambulance Service

        Tuberculosis sanatoria

        Mental deficiency asylums

        Training ships and their infirmaries

        Children's hospitals

Epileptic colonies

        Venereal disease hospitals for women

Municipal hospitals

        Mental hospitals

             The 'Epsom cluster'

                Treatments provided in mental hospitals

                Farming in mental hospitals    

        Open Air Schools

        Mental observation units

        LCC hospitals during WW2

The Emergency Medical Service

The National Health Service

Ayers GM 1971 England's First State Hospitals and the Metropolitan Asylums Board 1867-1930.  London, Wellcome Instiute of the History of Medicine.

Barry G, Carruthers LA 2005  A History of Britain's Hospitals.  Sussex, Book Guild Publishing.

Black N 2006  Walking London's Medical History.  London, Royal Society of Medicine Press.

Prochaska FK 1992 Philanthropy and the Hospitals of London: The King's Fund, 1897-1990.  Oxford, Clarendon Prtess.

Richardson H (ed) 1998 English Hospitals 1660-1948.  A Survey of their Architecture and Design.  London, Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England.

Rivett G 1998  From Cradle to Grave.  Fifty Years of the NHS.  London, King's Fund.

Taylor J 1999 Hospital and Asylum Architecture in England 1840-1914: Building for Health Care.  Leicester University Press.


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