|LOST HOSPITALS OF LONDON
Chase Farm Hospital
127 The Ridgeway, Enfield, Middlesex EN2 8JL
|1939 - current
In 1930 the Chase Farm Schools were taken over by the Middlesex County Council (MCC). The buildings had originally been built in 1886 by the Edmonton Board of Guardians as a Poor Law orphanage to house 500 children from the Enfield workhouse.
The premises by this time, however, were underused and contained only 300 children, with one block and the lower floor of the Schools' infirmary accommodating 82 sick infants and children from the North Middlesex Hospital. The MCC decided to adapt another block for 37 chronically sick elderly women from the former workhouse, now known as Edmonton House, and the North Middlesex Hospital.
The children at the Schools were gradually transferred to more suitable, smaller children's homes and, by 1938, the buildings had become Chase Farm, an old people's home. Two new wards were added.
At the outbreak of WW2 in 1939 the home joined the Emergency Medical Scheme. It was renamed the Chase Farm Emergency Hospital and had 800 beds in anticipation of the expected air-raid casualties.
After the war the buildings continued in use as a general hospital. In 1946 the word 'Emergency' was dropped from its title and it became Chase Farm Hospital. It joined the NHS in 1948 under the control of the Enfield Group Hospital Management Commttee, part of the North East Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board. It had 518 general beds.
By 1971 the Hospital had 375 beds. Work began on a new building to house the women's and children's services. The medical wards were upgraded.
In 1974, following a major reorganisation of the NHS, the Hospital came under the control of the Enfield and Haringey Area Health Authority, part of the North East Thames Regional Health Authority. It them became the Chase Wing of the Enfield District Hospital (the other part of which was the Highlands Hospital). It had 357 beds for acute and maternity cases.
Building works continued throughout the 1970s. In 1977 the Hospital had 344 beds, in 1978 some 578 beds and, in 1979, 790 beds.
In 1982, following another major reorganisation of the NHS, the Hospital came under the auspices of the Enfield District Health Authority. In 1983 Enfield District Hospital ceased to exist and it became once again the Chase Farm Hospital.
In 1990 plans for a new district general hospital to be built on the site were abandoned due to financial constraints.
On 1st April 1993, after another major reorganisation of the NHS and the introduction of the 'market' system, a new administration took over the running of the acute and maternity services of the Hospital - the newly established Chase Farm Hospital NHS Trust. Another Trust - the Enfield Community Care NHS Trust - took over other services on the same site.
In 1995, as part of a major programme of building works costing over £16m, a new surgical block opened. It was named the Highlands Wing, after the Highlands Hospital, which had closed in 1993. (Part of the moneys from the sale of its site were used to finance the new wing.) All the wards were refurbished.
In 1999 the Hospital joined with Barnet Hospital to form the Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust.
In 2000 the Hospital had 469 beds for acute and maternity patients.
In 2005 a new 'Surgicentre' for elective surgery opened, mainly for the treatment of orthopaedic cases.
Present status (September 2008)
The site contains many buildings of various ages and architectural styles, some permanent and some temporary. Many look neglected and their exteriors need maintenance work.
The future of the Hospital has been under discussion for over a decade, with proposals to close the Accident and Emergency Department, replacing it with an Urgent Care Centre, and to move maternity services to Barnet Hospital and the North Middlesex Hospital.
Update: February 2014
In 2010 the Hospital had 457 beds.
Despite constant reassurances from various politicians and vociferous protest by the local population, the Maternity Unit closed in mid November 2013 and the Accident and Emergency Department on 9th December 2013.
In February 2014 the Royal Free Hospital made a bid to take over the running of the Hospital.
Photographs obtained in September 2008
The old wall along The Ridgeway, with the Hospital entrance in the distance.
The rather pretty Lodge House was once the Receiving Ward for the children being admitted to the Schools.
The former Probationary Ward Block, just to the north of the Lodge House, is now the Postgraduate Medical Centre.
The exterior of the Postgraduate Medical Centre is somewhat dilapidated.
The Clocktower Building was the former administration building for the Schools and is flanked by 3-storey wings. It is now used for offices and clinics.
The former dormitory wing of the former Schools (boys side) to the south of the administration building.
The former dormitory wing (girls side) on the northern side. The pyramidal Chapel has a corrugated iron roof.
Another old block of the Schools era with an interesting roof (below). The blue kiosk is the Hospital shop.
It is difficult to know what to make of this roof arrangement.
The Accident and Emergency Department.
The Highlands Wing opened in 1995.
The Women and Children's Centre was built in the 1970s.
The Rheumatology Department is a prefabricated building.
An old ward block with rather shambolic prefabricated buildings beside it.
A 2-storey building which was once two 'cottage homes', now joined together.
Modern 'villas' in the south of the site used for staff housing and offices (above and below).
The PFI Development Team headquarters.
The Estates Department.
The site map of the Hospital showing the extent of the site.
The Kings Oak Hospital is a private hospital with 47 beds run by BMI. It is located at the north of the site.
Chase Farm Ambulance Station is adjacent to the Hospital on The Ridgeway. Plans are being made to relocate the majority of its staff to Edmonton.
Enders Close, a gated housing development, was built on former Hospital land between the Ambulance Station and the Hospital entrance.
The site is shared by the Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Halth NHS Trust (previously the Enfield Community Care NHS Trust). It has 359 beds in a collection of 1- and 2-storey villas built in the 1970s along Chace Village, a peripheral road built around the Hospital, for patients with mental health problems and learning disability.
Established at Friern Hospital in 1987, the North London Forensic Service, moved in 1993 to a purpose-built medium secure unit to the north of the Chase Farm Hospital site. The service is also provided by the Trust and by 2014 three purpose-built medium secure units had been built along Chace Village.
2nd February 2014)
(Author unstated) 2011 Health secretary makes U turn over service closure at London hospital. British Medical Journal 343, d5848.
Barratt H 2012 Hospital service reconfiguration: the battle for hearts and minds. British Medical Journal 344, e953.
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