St James' Hospital
Trafalgar Road, Gravesend, Kent DA11 0PY
Medical dates:

Medical character:
1855 - 1985

General.  Later, chronic sick elderly.
The Gravesend and Milton Workhouse opened in 1847 in Trafalgar Road, replacing the former poorhouse in Stone Street.  An infirmary was added in 1855.  A children's ward opened in 1882 and, in 1891, accommodation for lunatics.

The Local Government Act, 1929, abolished the Poor Law Unions, transferring their responsibilities to local authorities.  On 1st April 1930 the workhouse and its infirmary became the Gravesend Public Assistance Institution (P.A.I.), under the control of the Public Assistance Committee of Kent County Council.

In 1939, at the outbreak of WW2, the P.A.I. joined the Emergency Medical Service.  The buildings received bomb damage in 1940 during an air raid.

In 1948 the Institution joined the NHS as St James' Hospital under the control of the Medway and Gravesend Hospital Management Committee, part of the South East Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board.  It had 74 beds for chronically ill elderly patients.

In 1974, following a major reorganisation of the NHS, the Hospital came under the management of the Dartford and Gravesham District Health Authority, part of the South East Thames Regional Health Authority.  It had 70 beds, of which 51 were for Part III elderly patients (that is, those assessed as in need of residential or nursing care under Part III of the National Assistance Act, 1948.  Such patients were the responsibility of the local authority).

By 1981 the Hospital had 64 beds, but in the following year the Regional Health Authority was discussing its closure.  It was the oldest hospital in Gravesend and it was felt that the facilities were too outmoded for modern care of the elderly.

The Hospital closed in December 1985.  The remaining patients were transferred to St James House, a newly refurbished block at Joyce Green Hospital in Dartford.

Present status (March 2010)

The site was sold and a modern gated retirement development with 106 dwellings built in its place.  St James Oaks opened in 1989; it is managed by Landbridge Ltd.

St James Oaks
The gated entrance to St James Oaks.

St James Oaks
One of the handsome wrought-iron gates.

St James Oaks

St James Oaks from the east (above) and from the west (below).

St James Oaks
References (Accessed 10th April 2016)


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