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Montage of three nurses. All images © Wellcome Library, London. References: L0010490, L0018470, L0010789. Hospital Records Database
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Details: German Hospital, London

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Go to:  Name  |  Administration  |  Status/Type  |  Other info  |  Records

Name

 

Present name

German Hospital 

Address

Ritson Road London E8 1DF 

Previous location

Also at Dalstone Lane, E8

Foundation Year

1845 

Closed

Yes 

Closure year

1987 

Administrative authorities

Regional Hospital Board (1948-74)

North East Metropolitan 

Hospital Management Committee (1948-74)

Hackney Group 

Regional Health Authority (1974-82)

North East Thames 

Regional Health Authority (1982- )

North East Thames 

District Health Authority (1974-82)

City and Hackney (Teaching) 

District Health Authority (1982- )

City and Hackney 

County (before 1974)

Middlesex/London 

County (1974-1996)

Greater London 

County (after 1996)

Not applicable 

Status

Pre 1948

Voluntary

Post 1948

NHS

Type

Pre 1948

General

Post 1948

Acute, Mental

Other information

Kaiser Wilhelm Stiftung (German Orphanage). Convalescent homes in Dalston, London, and in Hitchin, Hertfordshire. Associated Hospitals: Convalescent Home, Dalston Lane 1883 - 1908. Convalescent Home, Hitchin, Herefordshire 1908 - 1948. The German Hospital For the last forty years newcomers to Dalston have been surprised to learn that there is a hospital building in their midst which is known as the 'German'. Yet for the first 100 years of its existence there was no such surprise. Originally founded 'for the reception of all poor Germans and others speaking the German Language', the German Hospital also cared for the local English-speaking population in the case of emergencies. It was supported by subscriptions and donations, many from Germany or the German community in England, and run by a dedicated band of German nursing sisters and doctors. And when, in 1948 the Voluntary Hospital became part of the NHS, first as a general hospital and more recently as a psychiatric hospital, the 'German' continued to enjoy both in professional circles and among the general public the highest reputation for skilled staff and hospital care. In the 1840s it is estimated that some 30,000 Germans were living in England, making up by far the largest immigrant community. Many of them lived and worked in poor conditions in the East End of London, where poverty and the language barrier left them little chance to make use of the limited medical resources available at that time. The work of a German pastor and a doctor to establish a hospital for 'poor German Sick' was taken up by the Prussian Ambassador, the Chevalier Bunsen, who succeeded in enlisting the support of the rich and influential in Germany and England, including both Royal Houses, so ensuring that the hospital was built. On 15 October 1845 the German Hospital opened, with just 12 beds. An early outstanding feature of the hospital was the nursing care provided by the Protestant Deaconesses from the Kaiserswerth Institute near Wessendorf. It was their example at the German which prompted Florence Nightingale to visit the hospital on two occasions and then to enrol for training at the Institute in Germany in 1851. New hospital buildings, constructed according to the highest standards in hospital design, were opened in 1864 and provded to be invaluable in the epidemics which swept London in the 1860s and 1870s. The German Royal family took a keen interest in the hospital, as did the von Schroder family who were so often to provide funds for the hospital over the years. During the First World War the German Staff remained at the Hospital, despite strong anti-German feelings in the country and a shortage of nurses and doctors in Germany. The period between the wars was one of great improvements and extensions to the buildings, the most important of which was the opening of the new hospital wing in 1936, with its maternity and children's wards, and the well-known and innovatory roof-garden for convalescents, providing a panoramic view of the entire city as far south as Crystal Palace. In May 1940 the staff of the German Hospital were interned on the Isle of Man and English staff assumed the running of the hospital, which now became German in name only. It was taken into the National Health Service in 1948, and in 1974 became part of the newly-formed Ciry of Hackney Health District. The teaching hospital for this District is St Bartholomew's Hospital, which is why the archives of the German are now held at Bart's. For its last 13 years the German Hospital cared for psychiatric patients and psychogeriatric (the elderly metally confused). During this time it continued to develop its work, such as its provision of emergency night shelter facilities for elderly confused people from the community. However, it closed in 1987 as the services it offered were transferred to the new Homerton Hospital. Now in the 1990s the German Hospital is being rejuvenated. Most of the buildings are being turned into housing with the help of the New Islington and Hackney Housing Association, while the old administration block at the centre of the hospital is being developed by the MacIntyre Care Charitable Trust into a centre to provide vocational training and opportunities to people with learning disabilities. Catering, weaving, printing and horticulture will all be taught, and the centre will also provide a range of services for the community, and incorporate a small 'museum' telling the story of the German Hospital.

Records can be found at:

notes

  Wellcome Library

Record type

Date range

Administrative

1845 - 1940

   Other

1845 - 1940

Clinical & Patients

1890 - 1960

Finding aids

Finding aids

Catalogue, Computerised

Location of finding aids

At Repository(AR)

Details

Notes

Papers of Frederick Parkes Weber include his case notes of patients at the German Hospital, inc clinical photographs 1890s-1900s, a copy of the hospital Pharmacopaeia 1845 and a file on the questions about staff and hospital name arising with the outbreak of the Second World War

notes

  London Metropolitan Archives

Record type

Date range

Administrative

1898 - 1947

   General

1898 - 1947

Finding aids

Finding aids

Brief Guide(BG)

Location of finding aids

At Repository(AR)

Details

Brief Guide: Hospital and Charity Annual Reports.

Notes

Annual Reports - Annual Report collection SC/PPS/093/19,82

notes

  St Bartholomew's Hospital Archives and Museum

Record type

Date range

Administrative

1802 - 1971

   General

1843 - 1970

   Finance

1845 - 1971

   Estates

1802 - 1971

   Nursing

1947 - 1948

   Admission & Discharge

1946 - 1967

   Staff

1845 - 1955

   Ephemera

1845 - 1970

   Pictorial

1845 - 1970

Clinical & Patients

1931 - 1959

Finding aids

Finding aids

Catalogue, Card Index, Computerised

Location of finding aids

At Repository(AR), National Register of Archives (NRA)

Details

Computer Database: Photographs entered on database.

 
 
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