St George's Hospital
 117 Suttons Lane, Hornchurch, Essex RM12 6RS
Medical dates:

Medical character:
1938 - 2012

In 1936 Essex County Council built a home for the elderly, which was named Sutton's Institution.  It officially opened in 1938.

However, at the outbreak of WW2 in 1939, the building was taken over by the Ministry of Defence and used to accommodate airmen from R.A.F. Hornchurch.

After the war the premises returned to their original use as a home for the elderly.

In 1948 the Institution joined the NHS under the control of the Romford Group Hospital Management Committee, part of the North East Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board.  It was renamed St George's Hospital and had 700 beds.

In July 1952 a Neurosis Unit with 20 beds was established at the Hospital in what had previously been the Observation Ward for Warley Hospital.  In 1956 this Unit became independent of Warley Hospital and was renamed the Ingrebourne Centre (after the stream running through the grounds).

In 1957 the Hospital had 424 beds.

By 1964 it contained mainly elderly patients with an average age of 80 years, and some considerably older needing greater nursing care.  The Hospital was seriously understaffed, despite efforts to recruit more nurses.  Some 329 chronic and aged patients were cared for by 30 full-time and 15 part-time staff (an improvement on the previous year, with 28 full-time and 19 part-time staff).

In 1967 there were 422 beds for chronically sick patients and dermatological and neurosis cases.

In 1972 the Hospital had 384 beds for the chronically sick, dermatological and physical medicine patients, as well as neurosis cases.

Following a major reorganisation of the NHS in 1974, control of the Hospital passed to the Barking and Havering Area Health Authority, part of the North East Thames Regional Health Authority.

By 1984 the Hospital had 318 beds and was under the control of the Barking, Havering and Brentwood District Health Authority.

In 1991, following another major NHS regorganisation and the introduction of the 'market' system, the Hospital came under the control of the North East London Foundation Trust.  It offered respiratory, physiotherapy, heart and stroke services, and in-patient rehabilitation services.

By the end of the 1990s the Hospital was under the threat of closure, with a proposal to sell the site for housing.

In 2003 the Trust cut the bed complement from 180 intermediate and long-term care beds to 60, for patients recovering from serious conditions, such as strokes or falls.

The future of the site was reviewed in 2005.  A consultation was held as to whether to refurbish the Hospital, to redevelop it or to close it.  The number of patients had decreased and the Hospital managers considered whether to close one of the wards.

In April 2006 an assistant nurse was stabbed to death in a frenzied attack by a 19-year-old man while she took a break outside the Hospital.

Present status (June 2008)

The future of the Hospital is still uncertain.

Update:  August 2013

In August 2012 the Trust announced that despite problems with the building, it was intending to redevelop the site and create a new purpose-built health centre.

In October 2012 the wards had to be closed because legionella was discovered in the Hospital's water system.  The 44 patients were transferred elsewhere - some to the Brentwood Community Hospital, others to Grays Court in Dagenham, while some were able to be discharged.  The Out-Patients Department also closed and the Hospital has never reopened.

In July 2013 discussions were held with the Havering Clinical Commissioning Group, now the owners of the site after another major NHS reorganisation, as to the possibility of its redevelopment, with part being used for a health centre.
St George's Hospital, Hornchurch
The main entrance to the Hospital.

St George's Hospital, Hornchurch
The Porter's Lodge by the main gate.

St George's Hospital, Hornchurch
Signage at the northwest corner.

St George's Hospital, Hornchurch
One of the buildings at the northwest of the site.

St George's Hospital, Hornchurch

Buildings at the northern part of the site (above and below).

St George's Hospital, Hornchurch

St George's Hospital, Hornchurch

Buildings in the central part of the site (above and below).

St George's Hospital, Hornchurch

St George's Hospital, Hornchurch
Looking towards the Hospital buildings from the south.

St George's Hospital, Hornchurch
The southern buildings.

St George's Hospital, Hornchurch
Sutton's House, the mental health unit, at the southern part of the site.

St George's Hospital, Hornchurch
The boiler house and chimney at the eastern side of the
(Accessed 27th August 2013)
www.romfordrecorder.co.uk (1)
www.romfordrecorder.co.uk (2)

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