Graphical version

London Metropolitan Archives



Reference code(s): H25/NH

Held at: London Metropolitan Archives


Date(s): 1907-1963

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 16 linear metres

Name of creator(s): National Heart Hospital


Administrative/Biographical history:

The hospital was founded in 1857 at 67 Margaret Street by Dr Eldridge Spratt. It was known by various titles including the Hospital for Diseases of the Heart. In about 1869 it moved to 85 Newman Street, Oxford Street and by 1872 it had adopted the name of 'The National Hospital for the special treatment of Paralysis, Epilepsy, Nervousness, and the Primary Stages of Insanity and other Diseases arising from Affectations of the Heart'. In 1874 the hospital moved again to 32 Soho Square. By 1876 its name had been shortened to the National Hospital for Diseases of the Heart and Paralysis; the last two words were subsequently dropped. In 1913 the hospital moved to purpose built premises in Westmoreland Street. It was the first hospital in the world to be dedicated to the treatment of patients with cardio-vascular disease and the first to introduce postgraduate medical training.

In the 1960s it became internationally famous with the rapid developments then in all forms of cardiology and cardiac surgery. Among many national and international medical firsts, it was responsible for pioneering new surgical techniques in the treatment of congenital heart disease as well as advances in the development of pacing and electrophysiology, and the first successful coronary angioplasty and coronary stent implantation in the UK.

On 3 May 1968 the Hospital performed the nation's first heart swap on Fred West. Although he only survived for 46 days, the medical experience gained played a vital role in the development of the procedure which has since gone on to benefit hundreds of chronically-ill patients in the UK, many of whom have survived their operations for ten years and more.

The National Heart Hospital developed strong links with the Brompton Hospital and in 1988 the two hospitals were amalgamated on a single site. In 1991 the hospital closed and services were moved to the newly constructed wing of the Brompton Hospital.

The hospital subsequently fell into disuse and stood empty for some years until being acquired by Gleneagles Hotels UK for the Singapore based Parkway Group Healthcare, and ran as a private Heart Hospital. In 1999 the hospital was purchased by the government for use as a new NHS National Heart Hospital.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the National Heart Hospital, consisting of a sample of the case files kept by the physicians of the hospital between 1907 and 1963 and photographs taken by Dr John Mathias Senior Registrar of the first heart transplant in the United Kingdom in 1968.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

These records are arranged according to a classification scheme for hospital records: General Hospital Administration (A), Patients' Administration (B), Finance Office (D), Endowments (E), Miscellaneous items (Y) and Prints and Photographs (Z).

Conditions governing access:

These records are open to public inspection, although under section 5(4) of the 1958 Public Records Act administrative records are closed for 30 years and patient records for 100 years.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright: Depositor

Physical characteristics:


Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited in 1987 and 2013


Existence and location of originals:

Existence and location of copies:

Related material:

Publication note:



Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: February 2009

Cardiology | Internal medicine | Medical sciences
Cardiovascular diseases | Diseases | Pathology
Heart surgery | Surgery | Medical sciences
Hospital patients | People by roles | People
Hospitals | Health services
Medical records | Documents | Information sources
Heart diseases x Cardiovascular diseases
Medical institutions
Primary documents
Specialties, medical

Personal names
Bedford | Davis Evan | 1898-1978 | consultant cardiologist
Brigden | Wallace | 1916-2008 | consultant cardiologist
Cotton | Thomas Forrest | d 1965 | cardiologist
Evans | William | 1895-1988 | cardiologist
Gibbes | Cuthbert Chapman | 1850-1927 | physician
Goodall | Joseph Strickland | 1874-1934 | physician
Hayward | Graham William | 1911-1976 | cardiologist
Leatham | Aubrey Gerald | b 1920 | cardiologist
McDonald | Edward Lawson | 1918-2007 | consultant cardiologist
Moon | Robert Oswald | 1865-1953 | physician
Parkinson | Sir | John | 1885-1976 | consultant cardiologist
Price | Frederick William | d 1957 | physician
Smith | Basil Thomas Parsons- | 1882-1954 | consultant physician
Wood | Paul Hamilton | 1907-1962 | cardiologist

Corporate names
National Heart Hospital x Hospital for Diseases of the Heart x National Hospital for the Special Treatment of Paralysis, Epilepsy, Nervous and the Primary Stages of Insanity x National Hospital for Diseases of the Heart and Paralysis
Royal Brompton Hospital x Royal Brompton National Heart and Lung Hospital x Royal Brompton National Heart Hospital x Brompton Hospital

Hertfordshire | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe
Westminster | London | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe
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