Northwood and Pinner Hospital
Pinner Road, Northwood, Middlesex HA6 1DE
Medical dates:

Medical character:
1925 - 2007

Acute.  Later, geriatric

In April 1919 a public meeting was held in Northwood to raise money for a war memorial and a cottage hospital for the district.  The Northwood War Memorial Committee was elected to oversee the fund-raising.  In May a small hut-like building on the corner of Green Lane and Hallowell Road was acquired for use as a temporary hospital.  During WW1 it had served as the McAlpine Ward at the Northwood V.A.D. Hospital.  The Committee inherited the electrical equipment from the V.A.D., and added a kitchen and a bathroom to the building.

The Northwood and Pinner Cottage Hospital, with 12 beds, was officially opened in March 1920 by Mrs David Lloyd George, the wife of the then Prime Minister.  The Hospital had one male and one female ward, an operating theatre, and massage and electrical treatment rooms.  There were also a store room and living quarters for the nurses.

Within a year the building proved inadequate and some £25,000 was raised to build a new larger Hospital.  A site was found in Pinner Road and construction work began.

The Northwood, Pinner and District War Memorial Hospital was officially opened in December 1924 by Montague Smith, the Chairman of the Ruislip Northwood Urban District Council.  Funded by public subscription, the Hospital would serve the areas of Pinner, Hatch End, Ruislip, Eastcote and Northwood.  The female ward had 8 beds and the male 6; two single rooms and one double room provided accommodation for private patients. The children's ward with 4 beds was provided by local residents, Mr and Mrs Winter, and a fully equipped X-ray Department by Mr and Mrs Lilley.  The Hospital also had an operating theatre, consulting rooms and staff duty rooms and accommodation for the Matron and nursing and domestic staff.  A war memorial was included in remembrance to those killed in WW1 (later extended to those who died in WW2, including civilians).

In 1925 the weekly charge for a private patient bed was 4 guineas (£4.20).  Patients in the public wards had to pay a weekly minimum fee of 15 shillings £0.75).

In 1930 an extension was built, which was opened by Princess Mary, Countess of Harewood.

In 1937 the weekly cost of an in-patient increased by 14 shillings and 4 pence to £4 18s 5d (£4.92); it had been £4 4s 1d (£4.20) in 1936.  The number of beds had also increased from 27 in 1936 to 36 in 1937.  Twelve beds were for female patients, 8 for men and 6 for children.  For private patients there were 5 single rooms and 2 double rooms.  There was also an observation room.  The average length of stay for most patients was a fortnight.  The nursing staff consisted of a Matron, 7 Sisters, 9 probationer nurses, and the domestic staff of a cook, 2 housemaids, 2 wardmaids, 1 between maid, 2 kitchen maids, and 2 porters.

Of the 565 operations carried out in 1937, some 218 were for removal of tonsils and adenoids.  Other admissions were for appendicitis, accidents and gynaecological matters.  During the year 34 free patients were treated in the public wards, while 64 patients paid 15 shillings (75p) per week or less, 80 paid 16-21s (80p-£1.05), 30 paid 22-29s (£1.10-£1.45) and 214 paid 30-41s (£1.50-£2.05).  Of the private patients, 139 paid 42s (£2.10) a week, 17 paid 4 guineas (£4.20) and 20 paid 5 gns £5.25) and 98 some £6 gns (£6.30) a week.

During the period of the National Emergency in September 1938, no new patients were admitted.  The weekly cost of an in-patient had risen by 13s 6d (67p) to £5 11s 11d (£5.65).  A new steriliser was acquired for £300, the cost of which had been specifically donated, and an Aga cooker for £224.

 A pre-fabricated hut was added during the 1940s to house a Physiotherapy Department.

The Hospital joined the NHS in 1948 as the Northwood, Pinner and District Hospital.  It was under the administration of the Harefield and Northwood Hospital Management Committee, part of the North West Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board.

By 1976 the future of the Hospital was looking uncertain following a major reorganisation of the NHS in 1974, when it came under the control of the Hillingdon Area Health Authority, part of the North West Thames Regional Health Authority.  Looking to save money, the Area Health Authority closed the Uxbridge Cottage Hospital and considered whether to also close the Hayes Cottage Hospital and the Northwood, Pinner and District Hospital.  In the event, both survived until October 1983, when closure was threatened again.  Both Hospitals were occupied by hospital workers and survived once more.

By the 1990s the Hospital had 36 beds.

In 2000, when it was providing palliative, respite and rehabilitation care for elderly in-patients, as well as physiotherapy and podiatry care to out-patients, plans were discussed whether to modernise the Hospital at a cost of £8m.  Among the ideas were to rebuild the Northwood Health Centre, which was located next door to the Hospital.  But nothing happened and, in 2004, it was decided that the Health Centre could not be rebuilt on its site as car-parking facilities were inadequate.  In June 2005 the mainly elderly  in-patients were relocated to the refurbished 24-bedded Cawthorne Ward at Mount Vernon Hospital, while the Northwood Health Centre moved into the vacated wards until its new building was ready in Neal Close.

It had been proposed that the Pinner Road site be redeveloped to provide a new unit for in-patient and out-patient services, but as a result of financial difficulties within the NHS, the project was put on hold.  In November 2006 the Hillingdon Primary Care Trust (PCT) approved a temporary closure of the Hospital.

Consultations on the permanent closure of the Hospital were held between the PCT and the public at the beginning of 2007.  The public felt strongly that, apart from the fact that it was a war memorial, the site should remain within the freehold of the NHS and not be sold to a third party.  However, the PCT was reluctant to pay the costs of keeping an empty building secure (some £283,000 a year) or to pay between £8m-£15m to refurbish it.

Following the consultation period it was decided in July 2007 to close the Hospital but that future services at the site would be focused on health and community care.

Present status (April 2008)

The Hospital building shows few signs of life, but there may be some healthcare activities continuing in the rear of the building.

The Northwood and Pinner Community Unit has 22 beds and  is located on the first floor of the Care of the Elderly medical block at Mount Vernon Hospital.  It is run by Hillingdon Primary Care Trust and provides for patients requiring further rehabilitation or respite care.

Update October 2010

According to the online Uxbridge Gazette, the Hospital is sceduled to remain closed for a further four years.

Update:  September 2016

In 2012 NHS Hillingdon proposed to sell the site, which had become the Ruislip Ambulance Station.  It is now owned by NHS Property Services Ltd - and the debate goes on.  A petition is being prepared to present to Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Health, to preserve the building for community use.

In 2013 the Northwood and Pinner Community Unit moved to Hillingdon Hospital, where it is known as the Hawthorn Intermediate Care Unit.
Hospital building
The front elevation on Pinner Road.

  front door
The main entrance.

entrance drive  
Hospital building
The right-hand entrance drive (left) and buildings on the right of the main Hospital (right).

Hospital building  Dept. Physical Medicine
The back of the Hospital (left) and the entrance to the Department of Physical Medicine along the western side (right).
References (Accessed September 2016)

Baker D 1976 Closure of cottage hospitals.  British Medical Journal 2 (6044), 1136.

Cowan CA 1970 A History of the Northwood, Pinner and District Hospital 1920-1970.  Northwood, Northwood and Pinner Hospital Voluntary Association.

Kemp WAG 1957 The Story of Northwood and Northwood Hills. Self-published.

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