In-patient facilities at St Leonard's were closed in 1984. St Leonard's now acts as a primary care centre, co-ordinating community services including chiropody, physiotherapy, primary care psychology, child and adolescent services etc. It is also the Trust Offices of City and Hackney Community Services NHS Trust.
St Leonard's Hospital
The history of St Leonard's begins with the building of a parish workhouse on the Kingsland Road, Hackney in 1777. The workhouse incorporated two wards for sick paupers but there was little proper organisation of treatment until the appointment of James Parkinson as parish surgeon, apothecary and man-midwife in 1813. He divided the wards into male and female, surgical and medical, with additional maternity, incurable and insane wards. It was also Parkingson who established a separate fever block in the workhouse, the first in London, for the segregation of infectious patients, particularly those suffering from cholera. In 1817 he published an "Essay on the Shaking Palsy" in which he described the condition we now call Parkinson's Disease. James Parkinson died in December 1824, but his work was continued by his son, John William Keys Parkinson, who had previously been his father's assistant.
By the 1860s it had become necessary to rebuild the workhouse which had been declared unsafe. The tender of Messrs. Perry and Co. of Stratford to carry out the work for £47,750 was accepted and building began in 1863. The new buildings were completed in 1866 and included provision for the care of 350 sick poor people in wards separate from the other inmates of the workhouse. In 1871 a further £10,000 was spent on additions and alterations to provide an infirmary and dispensary in a building separate from the main workhouse according to the requirements of the Mertropolitan Poor act of 1867. The new building was opened in 1872 with 503 beds and a Matron was appointed for the first time. A later Assistant Matron was the First World War Heroine Edith Cavell, who worked for St Leonard's from 1903 - 1906 before going to Belgium to found an institute for the training of nurses. She was executed by the Germans in 1915 for helping British prisoners to escape.
In 1930 the London County Council took over the running of St Leonard's, the workhouse was closed and the buildings incorporated into the infirmary which, since 1920, has been called a hospital. In 1934 the buildings were condemned but the outbreak of World War II prevented any improvements being made. St Leonards is believed to have been the first London Hospital to receive air-raid casualties and was itself bombed in 1941.
After the war the old, condemned buildings continued to be used until a public enquiry prompted the LCC to start improvement works. These were in progress when control of the hospital passed to the Minister of Health upon the establishment of the National Health Service in 1948. St Leonard's was grouped with four other local hospitals to form Central Group no.5 administered by Hospital Management Committee. With the 1974 reorganisation of the Health Service St Leonard's became part of the City of London and hackney Health District with St Bartholomew's, St Mark's, the metropolitan, the Eastern Hospital, Hackney Hospital, the German Hospital and the Mother's Hospital.
St Leonard's remained a general hospital until 1948 when the in-patient facilities were closed. Since then it had been developed as a centre for co-ordinating community services and supporting health centres. It has also become the home for various District Services including physiotherapy, chiropody, a dkisability resource centre and a diabetic day centre.