Sutton Hospital
Cotswold Road,  Sutton, Surrey SM2 5NF
Medical dates:

Medical character:
1899 - 2017

Acute, geriatric.  Later, acute, mental
A Cottage Hospital for the area opened in 1899 in two semi-detached houses in Bushey Road, Sutton.  The Hospital had six beds.

In 1902 it moved to new premises in Hill Road, becoming known as Sutton Cottage Hospital.  It had 12 beds in four small wards and an administrative block.

In 1930 a larger hospital was built on the corner of Chiltern and Cotswold Roads.  It opened in 1931 as the Sutton and Cheam District Hospital.

In 1938 the Nurses' Home was enlarged.

In 1939 the Hospital became the Sutton and Cheam General Hospital.  During WW2 it had 130 beds as well as ten Emergency Medical Service beds for war casualties.

In 1948 it joined the NHS under the control of the St Helier Group Hospital Management Committee, part of the South West Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board.  A maternity annexe was opened in a converted house which, before the war, had been a private nursing home. The annexe had 21 beds in single and double rooms (4 beds for private patients and 1 amenity bed).  The garden of Cedar Court next door was acquired. The Hospital also took over some of the vacant buildings belonging to the neighbouring Downs Hospital for Children, which had closed the same year.

In 1953 two new wards were built.  The Hospital then had 146 beds, of which 8 were for private patients and 4 were amenity beds. However, there was a great need for a new Out-Patients Department as the Casualty and X-rays Departments, the dispensary and Almoner's office, were all served by one narrow corridor, also used by patients going to the Pathology Laboratory.  (There were some 34,500 out-patient attendances each year.)

In 1957, a new Out-Patients Department was built- a pre-fabricated 'Cornish unit' - at a cost of £16,500.  A chapel also opened on the site.

In April 1959, after extensive alterations, the former Downs Hospital for Children re-opened as the Cotswold Wing.  The Wing had 136 beds and was used to accommodate geriatric patients from the St Helier Group, the first of whom arrived on 1st July 1959.  By the end of the year only one block had fully opened; the second block of 68 beds could not do so because of the lack of nursing staff.  The Hospital then had 282 beds, including the new Wing.

In 1966 only 244 of the 282 beds were staffed.  The weekly cost of an in-patient was £36 1s 0d (£36.05), compared to £34 9s 11d (£34.50) the previous year.

Work began on converting the ground floor of an empty block in the Cotswold Wing into an Ophthalmic Out-Patients Department.  The new  Department was opened on 26th April 1967 by Mr A.J. Cameron, senior ophthalmic surgeon to the Hospital, who had retired a few years earlier.

In 1970 the weekly cost of an in-patient was £51.63, which increased to £59.77 in the following year.

In 1974, following a major reorganisation of the NHS, the Hospital came under the administration of the Sutton and West Merton District Health Authority, part of the South West Thames Regional Health Authority.

In 1982, after another major reorganisation, it came under the control of the Merton and Sutton District Health Authority.

In 1983 a Day Surgery Unit was opened.

Further improvements were made in 1990 and work began on building an Orthopaedic Surgery Unit, which opened in January 1991.

In 1999, following yet another major reorganisation, the Hospital joined the Epsom and St Helier NHS Trust.

Present status (August 2008)

Today it is known as Sutton Hospital and has 32 beds and a modern day surgery unit.  Out-patient services are also provided - ophthalomogy, lithotripsy, pain control and laser treatment for dermatological conditions, as well as radiology and physiotherapy.  There is also a Day Hospital for elderly patients.  It is also a centre for mental health care provided for by the South West London and St George's Mental Health NHS Trust.

Now under the administration of the Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust, the future of the Hospital looks uncertain.  It had been mooted that a new PFI-funded critical care facility should be built on the site to replace both the Epsom Hospital and St Helier Hospital.  However, in a shock decision in October 2008, it has been decided to improve facilities at St Helier Hospital instead.

The Hospital remains partly active, but many of the old ward blocks are boarded up.  Part of the Hospital will remain open until the new critical care wing at St Helier Hospital is complete.

Sutton Hospital is then due to be sold off in 2016 to help pay for the redevelopment of St Helier Hospital, although part of the site may be retained for health service use.  Negotiations are taking place between the Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust and the Royal Marsden Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to run a general treatment and diagnostic centre on the site.

Update:  March 2013

It is anticipated that from this year that 80% of out-patients attending St Helier Hospital will transfer here until the Ferguson Wing is rebuilt there.  The new buildings at St Helier Hospital are expected to open in 2017, following which all services will transfer there and Sutton Hospital will close.

Update:  January 2018

The Hospital closed in 2017.  Part of the site (1.6 hectares) was bought by Sutton Council for £8m.  Planning permission has been given to the Harris Foundation to build a new secondary school (Harris Academy).  The remaining land (6 hectares) will be used to enable the expansion of the Royal Marsden Hospital and the Institute of Cancer Research.
Site of first Sutton Cottage Hospital
The site of Sutton Cottage Hospital in Hill Road is now occupied by a building with the Moon on the Hill public house on the ground floor and apartments above.  (Photograph obtained in December 2011.)

N.B. Photographs obtained in August 2008

Sutton Hospital
The entrance to the current Hospital off Cotswold Road.

Sutton Hospital
One of the former Downs Hospital buildings still in use.

Sutton Hospital
The Day Hospital building is still active.

Sutton Hospital

The Day Hospital building, as seen from the boarded-up ward blocks.
old ward block  old ward block

Boarded-up ward blocks of the Sutton Hospital, previously belonging to the Downs Hospital, awaiting demolition (above and below).

old ward block  old ward block

old ward block
References (Accessed 1st January 2018)

Lydall R 2017 Land deal agreed for 'game-changing' £1billion cancer research hub in Sutton.  Evening Standard (22nd March).

Morrison S 2016  Harris Federation to open secondary school on former Sutton Hospital site.  Sutton Guardian (19th September).

Sleigh S 2013 Epsom and St Helier trust to close Sutton Hospital two years early.  Your Local Guardian (25th April)


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