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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: Eastern Hospital, London

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

Name

 

Present name

Eastern Hospital 

Previous name(s)

Homerton Hospital (1867 - 1885)
Eastern Fever Hospital (1885 - 1899)
Metropolitan Fever and Smallpox Hospital at Homerton
Eastern District Hospitals and Ambulance Station  

Address

Homerton Grove London E9 6BY 

Previous location

Brooksby's Walk, Hackney
The Grove, Hackney
Kingsland Road

Foundation Year

1867 

Closed

Yes 

Closure year

1982 

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 

County (1974-1996)

Greater London 

County (after 1996)

Not applicable 

Status

Pre 1948

Local Authority

Post 1948

NHS

Type

Pre 1948

Isolation, Children

Post 1948

OTHER: (1948 - 1965 Skin diseases), 1965 - ? Neurology. 1948 - 1959 Tuberculosis 1948 - Infectious Diesases 1959 - Geriatrics 1965 - Sub Normal Children Patients from St John's Hospital for Diseases of the Skin were allocated ward space at the Eastern, c1945 -

Other information

Absorbed East London Union Infirmary, Clifden Road, Homerton, E9. in 1921. Hospital Name; Additional Information Few administrative records of the Eastern Hospital have survived, and it is difficult to be certain of the exact dates at which changes to the Hospital's name occured. However, it is possible to say that: 1. In 1885 it was known as Homerton Fever Hospital. 2. In 1887 it was known as Eastern Fever Hospital 3. In 1889 it was known as Eastern Hospital 4. In 1894 it, and the adjacent smallpox hospital, were known as Eastern Hospitals Homerton 5. In 1899 it was known as Easter Hospital The Eastern Hospital and the Homerton Hospital The 1860s was a decade of epidemics in London and it was an outbreak of "relapsing" fever -in which the patient fell victim to a fever, appeared to recover but relapsed after a week - which led to the foundation of the fever hospital that later became the Eastern. Since 1867 the Metropolitan Asylums Board had been responsible for the care and control of all fever cases within London. The present site in Homerton had been designated for a fever hospital and a smallpox hospital, but it was not until the "relapsing" fever epidemic that work began. The fever hospital was opened in December 1870, with six wards for typhus, two each for scarlet fever and enteric patients and two smaller wards for any special cases. This gave a total of 200 beds which were immediately occupied. Building work then continued on the adjacent smallpox hospital in an attempt to counteract a growing epidemic of that disease, from which nearly 8000 people died in London between 1870 and 1871. The hospital opened in the first three days 60 patients were admitted and by the middle of the month all beds were filled and the overflow patients had to be taken to the fever hospital next door where the number of beds had been increased to 600. Convalescent patients had to be accommodated in the corridors, or in tents in the grounds, while some were even sent to a hospital ship moored at Greenwich. By July the epidemic had run its course and the number of patients rapidly dropped until by October 1873 the smallpox hospital was almost empty. Although the first vaccination against smallpox had been made in England in 1721 and a reliable form of vaccine was introduced in 1796, it was not until 1853 that infant vaccination against the disease was made compulsory. Even this did not ensure that everyone was vaccinated and some doctors used the wrong serum. However, the 1870s epidemic clearly showed the value of vaccination, since no patients died who had been vaccinated. After this date the number of smallpox cases gradually declined until by 1921 there were insufficient to justify a separate hospital. The smallpox hospital was amalgamated with the Eastern Fever Hospital as it was then known. In the same year the buildings of the East London Union Workhouse in Clifden Raod were also incorporated into the Eastern Hospital. In the 1920s scarlet fever and diphtheria were the main diseases treated at the Eastern and the majority of patients were children. They were kept in isolation cubicles until the diagnosis was confirmed when they would be moved to a general ward. The patients wore rough flannel nightdresses and black boots, and there was an unappertising menu of weak cocoa with marmalade sandwiches for breakfast. In 1930 control of the Eastern passed to the London County Council. During the Second World War St John's Hospital for Diseases of the Skin was severely bombed and all its in-patient facilities were lost; wards at the Eastern were allocated to St Johns patients and the association between the two hospitals continued until the 1980s. When the National Health Service was established in 1948 the Eastern came under the control of the Ministry of Health and was one of the four hospitals administered as the Hackney Group, the others being Hackney, the German and the Mothers' Hosptial. In the post-war years the Eastern played an important part in defeating two of the most feared diseases of that time - tuberculosis and poliomyelitis. In 1974 the Eastern became part of the newly-created City and Hackney Health District. It was closed in 1982 and shortly afterwards most of the old buildings on the site were demolished. The new Homerton Hospital was built where the Eastern formerly stood. The first patients were admitted to the Homerton in the summer of 1986, and the official opening took place in the early part of 1987. In 1992, as a sign of the closer co-operation planned between the Homerton and the former teaching hospital of the City and Hackney Health Authority, St Bartholomew's Hospital, the Homerton Hospital was renamed "St Bartholomew's Hospital at Hormerton". However, this joint development of the two hospitals was soon threatened by the publication in October 1992 of the Government-commissioned Tomlinson Report of the Inquiry into the London Health Service. This did not see the Bart's/Homerton grouping as a viable one and proposed three possible options for Bart's, none of them including the Homerton. Acordingly, in 1994 Bart's became part of the Royal Hospitals NHS Trust, joining with the Royal London Hospital and the London Chest Hosptial, and Homerton became a separate Trust along with the Hackney Hospital, the remainder of whose services were transferred to the Homerton in 1995. In January 1995 the Accident and Emergency Department at Bart's closed, and the Homerton was one of the local hospitals which had further investment in its Accident and Emergency services to enable it to cope with the increased demand.

Records can be found at:

notes

  London Metropolitan Archives

Record type

Date range

Administrative

1868 - 1948

   General

1868 - 1948

   Estates

1899 - 1921

   Nursing

1875 - 1900

   Admission & Discharge

1897 - 1916

   Staff

1871 - 1924

Finding aids

Finding aids

Catalogue, Computerised

Location of finding aids

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

Details

AR: CAT: AR: See also City of London Board of Guardians C.B.G., St Olave's/Bermondsey Board of Guardians B.B.G., Metropolitan Asylums Board, London County Council Central Public Health committee 1924 - 1934, Hospitals and Medical Services Committee 1934 - 1948.

Notes

Annual Reports - Annual Report Collection SC/PPS/121/02 1871 - 1885

notes

  St Bartholomew's Hospital Archives and Museum

Record type

Date range

Administrative

1739 - 1972

   General

1911 - 1969

   Estates

1739 - 1934

   Nursing

1874 - 1938

   Admission & Discharge

1885 - 1927

   Staff

1874 - 1938

   Ephemera

1950 - 1972

   Pictorial

1950 - 1959

Clinical & Patients

1871 - 1980

Finding aids

Finding aids

Catalogue, Card Index, Computerised

Location of finding aids

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

Details

NRA: CAT: 23440 Society of Medical Officers.

 
 
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