Cobham and District
Cottage Hospital
 168 Portsmouth Road, Cobham, Surrey KT11 1HT
Medical dates:

Medical character:
1905 - current

Acute (G.P).  Later, Out-Patients only.
The Cobham and District Cottage Hospital was officially opened in June 1905 by the Duchess of Albany.  The 2-storey building, rendered with roughcast, had 10 beds, including an accident ward.

The building was extended and, in 1913, the Duchess returned to open a new ward and an operating theatre.

In 1939, at the outbreak of WW2, the Hospital joined the Emergency Medical Service.

In 1948 the Hospital became part of the NHS as a G.P. hospital under the control of the Epsom Group Hospital Management Committee, part of the South West Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board.

In 1949 a Physiotherapy Department opened.

Because of the nationwide shortage of nursing and domestic staff, only 11 of the 16 beds were occupied on average.

During 1954 there were some 8,000 out-patient attendances in the Physiotherapy Department.

In 1955 the Hospital had 20 beds, with an average occupancy of 12 beds (60%).  Patients remained in Hospital on average for 15 days.  The weekly cost of an in-patient was £13 16s 3d (£13.81), while the charge for a private room was £1 18s 0d (£1.90) a day - £13.30 a week.

During the year the Physiotherapy Department, children's ward, main corridor, kitchen, scullery and larder were redecorated.  The wards, although small, were equipped with cubicle curtains and over-bed lights.   Mobile (trolley) telephones were bought for use in the wards. The nurses' garden was fenced to provide greater privacy.  Deckchairs and garden chairs for the patients and staff were purchased from the Amenity Fund.

In 1955 a Friends of Cobham Cottage Hospital group was founded to raise funds to provide amenities for patients.

By 1959 the average weekly cost of an in-patient had increased to £22 18s 6d (£22.92), while the daily charge for a pay bed has risen to £3 6s 0d (£3.30) - £23.10 a week.  There was 55% bed occupancy.

By 1965 there was 70% bed occupancy.  The average weekly cost of an in-patient was £38 19s 2d (£38.96), and a pay bed was charged at £6 a day (£42 a week).

In 1974, following a major reorganisation of the NHS, the Hospital came under the control of the Mid-Surrey District Health Authority, part of the South West Thames Regional Health Authority.

In 1991, following the introduction of the 'market place' concept of healthcare providers and purchasers, the Hospital became part of the Epsom Health Care NHS Trust.

In 1994 the old Hospital was demolished and rebuilt, with the Friends of Cobham Cottage Hospital providing £1.2m towards the costs, including the equipping of a 20-bed ward.  

The new building was opened by Princess Alexandra in 1998.

In 1999 the Epsom Health Care NHS Trust merged with St Helier to form the Epsom and St Helier NHS Trust.  Shortly before this, the Epsom Health Care NHS Trust sold off the 125-year lease on the new Hospital building to a private company, leasing back part of it for use as a hospital.  The Friends group had not been informed of this arrangement, and believed it was contrary to their original agreement with the Trust.

In 2004, while the Hospital was being refurbished, debris and pieces of wood fell from the roof during building work.  The wards were closed on health and safety grounds and the in-patients transferred to Dorking Hospital.

In an increasingly fragmented NHS, in 2004 the East Elmbridge and Mid Surrey Primary Care Trust (established in April 2002) decided to commission a new Diagnostic and Treatment Centre to be sited within the Hospital.  The Centre would be run by an independent provider and offer the same range of services as at Epsom Day Surgery.

On 1st October 2006 the Hospital came under the control of NHS Surrey, a Primary Care Trust formed of five previous Trusts, including the East Elmbridge and Mid Surrey PCT.

In November 2006 new diagnostic units and a Physiotherapy Department opened at the Hospital under the auspices of NHS Surrey.  However, the newly refurbished and re-equipped ward with 20 beds remained closed, despite the Friends' generous contribution, because of the financial difficulties experienced by NHS Surrey.

In early 2007 the Cobham Day Surgery, part of Epsomedical Ltd, opened under contract to NHS Surrey.

In 2009 NHS Surrey announced it was no longer economically viable to open the in-patients beds in such a small facility.  Thus, the ward, closed in 2004, never re-opened.

Present status (August 2009)

The Cobham Community Hospital is run by NHS Surrey and contains a health centre, district nursing services, a Physiotherapy Department and a Day Surgery unit.

Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust and CSH Surrey provide services for the Cobham Health Centre, while Cobham Day Surgery is managed by Epsomedical, an independent healthcare provider, which also runs Epsom Day Surgery at the Old Cottage Hospital, Epsom.

Update:  October 2014

In September 2011 the Friends of Cobham Cottage Hospital reluctantly disbanded, having provided financial support at the Hospital for a new dental practice and to the Solace Centre, a new facility to support victims of rape and sexual assault from anywhere in Surrey.  Their remaining funds were transferred to the Princess Alice Hospice, the Alzheimer's Society and the Royal Surrey Hospital.

At the end of March 2013 NHS Surrey was decommissioned following health service reforms.  It was replaced by the Surrey Downs Clinical Commissioning Group.

Cobham Hospital
The entrance drive.

Cobham Hospital
Signage for the Cobham Community Hospital and Health Centre by the entrance drive.

Cobham Hospital
The entrance to the Health Centre, with the Hospital building behind.

Cobham Hospital

The west side of the Hospital behind the Health Centre (above) and the east (below).

Cobham Hospital
References (Accessed 11th November 2014)

(Author unstated) 1905 To-Day.  The Standard, 29th June, 5.

(Author unstated) 1905 Reflections from a Board Room Mirror.  British Journal of Nursing, 1st July, 16.

(Author unstated) 1913 Reflections from a Board Room Mirror.  British Journal of Nursing, 9th August, 115.

Strathearn D 2008 Cobham Cottage Hospital.  Fedora (Spring), 50-52.

www.getsurrey.co.uk (1)
www.getsurrey.co.uk (2)
www.getsurrey.co.uk (3)

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