|LOST HOSPITALS OF LONDON
Ormond Maternity Home
29 Blantyre Street, Chelsea, SW10 0EW
|1916 - 1937
The Ormond Maternity Home opened in 1916 at 155 Kings Road with 3 beds. The freehold property, which had previously been the Ormond Home for Nurses, was owned and managed by the Ormond House Association (later the Ormond Maternity Trust). The Association had been formed in 1916 to provide an efficient maternity service for women living in the poorer districts of Chelsea. The only midwives in the area at this time were women of advanced age and doubtful ability, and there was a need for the modern type of trained midwife.
By 1925 the number of beds at the Home had increased to 4. In that year, some 45 mothers had been admitted for their confinement.
In the autumn of 1925 the Trust acquired a redundant public house, the Blantyre Arms, which was located midway along Blantyre Street, a long road with no side turnings.The 3-storey building was completely restored and refitted for use as a maternity home.
The Home re-opened in December 1925, as a maternity home catering for the wives of chauffeurs, policemen and the 'better class of artisan'. The weekly charge for patients was 4 guineas (£4.20). On the first floor were 7 maternity beds in three large rooms. A fourth smaller room was also registered but was used by the night nurse. The Labour Room and a bathroom were also on this floor.
The staff living quarters were in five rooms on the second floor. This floor had a bathroom and a stairway to the flat roof above. The nursing staff consisted of a Matron, an Assistant (staff midwife) and 4 pupil nurses, 2 of whom were seconded from St Mary Abbot's Hospital.
Although the Home was lit by electricity, each nurse's bedroom had a candle and candlestick, which were to be used at night. However, the building was old and poorly built, with plenty of wooden material and lath and plaster, and the LCC considered the use of candles to be a fire hazard. Their use was forbidden and the Home was obliged to provide a fire escape to the roof. The night nurse's bedroom was made into an emergency exit and the work was completed in December 1927.
During 1929 the Home received 75 in-patients and dealt with 138 maternity cases as out-patients. The numbers increased slightly in 1930 to 78 in-patients and 166 out-patients. There was an average occupancy of 4 of the 7 beds.
Although there were 80 in-patients in 1931, the Home was beginning to experience severe financial difficulties.It finally closed in 1937.
Present status (April 2009)
Blantyre Street has been almost completely redeveloped. Ashburnham Primary School, built in 1972, occupies the site of the Home.
The Ashburnham Primary School and its grounds now occupy the site of the Home (above and below).
Looking southwest along Blantyre Street (left) and northwest (right). Few original buildings remain.
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