Hainault Maternity Hospital
35 Lesney Park Road, Erith, Kent DA8 3DQ
Medical dates:

Medical character:
1920 - 1974


The Infant Welfare and Maternity Home was opened in 1920 by the Erith Urban District Council in a large Victorian house named 'Hainault', bought for the purpose as a cost of £1800.

The Home had six beds, three of which were in the maternity ward.  There was also an infant welfare centre, and antenatal, dental and school clinics were held there.  The coach house and stables were converted into an operating theatre.  The staff consisted of two midwives, a ward maid, a cook and a caretaker.

The Maternity Home remained open during WW2, although it was in a danger zone.  A temporary clinic was added in 1943.  In 1944 a flying bomb exploded nearby and caused considerable damage, but the only injury was to a baby in its cot.

In 1945 the building was extended and the bed number increased to 22.

In 1948 the Home joined the NHS under the administration of the Woolwich Group Hospital Management Committee.  It was renamed the Hainault Maternity Hospital.

In 1956 the bed numbers were increased to 24.  In 1965 a delivery unit was added, which provided two first-stage rooms and a bathroom, WC and sterilizing room.

The Home closed in 1974 with 21 beds, a victim of the new NHS policy of placing maternity units in general hospitals.

Present status (February 2009)

The building is now Hainault Hostel, a long-stay hostel with 12 beds for people with learning difficulties run by the MCCH Society Ltd.  The Betty Tod Centre is beside it.

Update:  November 2014

The hostel has closed and the 0.97 acre site offered for redevelopment in September 2014  by the London Borough of Bexley.  The successful contractor is expected to complete 12 supported living units before any new residential housing can be sold.

The Betty Tod Centre closed in 2008, but reopened in Church Road.

Hainault Hostel
The Hainault Hostel, as seen from across the road.

Hainault Hostel
The Hostel, as seen from the west, with the Mencap Centre on the right.
main entrance
The main entrance.

References (Accessed 20th November 2014)

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