|LOST HOSPITALS OF LONDON
Oxted and Limpsfield
War Memorial Hospital
Eastlands Way, Oxted, Surrey RH9 0LR
|1923 - 2001
Acute. Later, geriatric and G.P.
The Oxted and Limpsfield (War Memorial) Hospital opened in 1923 in Gresham Road. It had been founded to commemorate "the Men and Women of Oxted and Limpsfield who in the Great War 1914 to 1918 gave faithful service to God, their King and their Country". It was the last war memorial hospital to be built in England.
During 1926 some 162 in-patients were treated, of whom 42 were medical, 90 surgical and 30 accident cases. Of the 90 operations, 36 were major, 33 for removal of tonsils and adenoids, and 16 for appendicitis. In-patients remained in hospital on average for 16 days.
In 1926 work began on a new wing, while some existing wards were converted into an X-ray Department, a Waiting Room and Emergency Rooms. The remaining old public wards were enlarged.
Building work was completed in July 1927. The Hospital then had 17 beds (including 3 private patient rooms), 3 cots and one emergency bed (when required, to be set up in a public ward).
The X-ray apparatus, which had been presented to the Hospital by Mr and Mrs E. Strong in 1926, was installed. A new operating table had also been installed, and gas and oxygen anaesthetic apparatus provided, to the great benefit of those not strong enough to take ether or chloroform during major surgery.
By the 1930s the Hospital had again become too small and the Committee decided that a new purpose-built hospital should be built on a new site. In 1935 a Building Appeal was launched.
In 1939, just before the outbreak of war, the Hospital moved to its new site in Eastlands Way, despite the fact that the building was not yet finished.
During WW2 the Hospital joined the Emergency Medical Service.
The building work was completed shortly after the war, when the Hospital had 40 beds and a large Out-Patients Department.
It joined the NHS in 1948 under the control of the Redhill Group (later Redhill and Netherne) Hospital Management Committee, part of the South West Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board.
In 1969 the weekly cost of food per person (in-patients and 6 resident staff was £1 13s 4d (£1.67).
In 1974, following a major reorganisation of the NHS, the Hospital came under the management of the East Surrey District Health Authority, part of the South West Thames Regional Health Authority.
By 1983 it had become a G.P. hospital with 40 beds.
On 1st April 1991, following another major reorganisation of the NHS and the introduction of the 'marketplace' system of purchaser and provider, the Hospital came under the control of the East Surrey Healthcare NHS Trust.
In 1993 the Trust suggested that the Hospital should close as its buildings were in a poor state of repair. However, there was such a public outcry that the Trust reconsidered its proposal. Discussions were held about the possibility of building a new 20-bedded hospital on the same site but, in the meantime, the Hospital remained open, still in its rundown condition.
On 1st April 1998 the East Surrey Healthcare NHS Trust merged with the Crawley and Horsham NHS Trust to form the Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust. Once again, the Hospital's future became uncertain. The buildings were in a greater state of disrepair and, following a severe and prolonged rainfall, had deteriorated even further.
In 2001 representatives from the South East Regional Health Authority visited the Hospital to assess the state of the buildings. It was decided that it would be more cost-effective to fund an alternative building to provide modern healthcare, rather than repair the Hospital, which was now suffering from subsidence.
Despite the exceptional care offered to the frail elderly bed-ridden patients, the Hospital closed abruptly in 2001, to the dismay of the local community. The remaining in-patients were discharged home, if possible, or relocated to long-term residential care, or to a neighbouring local acute or community hospital.
Present status (July 2011)
The first site of the Hospital in Gresham Road now contains the offices of Tandridge District Council.
The second site in Eastlands Way has been redeveloped and is now Lankester Square, a small private estate.
The Hospital was built as a war memorial to honour the dead of WW1 who gave their lives for the country, but it is not known if there was a plaque and, if so, what happened to it.
The Tandridge Heights Memorial Care Home was built nearby in Memorial Close, so the word 'Memorial' at least survives.
|N.B. Photographs obtained in July 2011
The first site of the Hospital on Gresham Road is now part of the Tandridge District Council offices, on the corner of Gresham Road and Station Road.
The main entrance to the Council offices on Station Road.
The Gresham Road elevation.
The Oxted Library and Oxted Health Centre are adjacent to the site on Gresham Road.
Part of the second site of the Hospital on Eastlands Way has been developed by Linden Homes into a small estate, Lankester Square.
The site of the Hospital.
N.B. Photographs obtained in July 2014
In May 2005, on the remainder of the Eastlands Way site, the Tandridge Heights Memorial Care Home opened in Memorial Close with 75 beds. It is owned by the Barchester Healthcare. Ten of the beds were commissioned by East Surrey Primary Care Trust for the rehabilitation of elderly NHS patients discharged from hospital. All Primary Care Trusts were abolished on 1st April 2013; it is not known if the replacement Clinical Commissioning Group has the same arrangement.
The newly built Oxted Therapies Unit is adjacent to the Care Home, but with its entrance in Barnetts Way, a cul-de-sac.
The Oxted Therapies Unit with the rear of the Care Home shown on the left of the image.
|References (Accessed 28th April 2016)
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