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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): H40/AC
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1898-1975
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 1.6 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Acton Hospital


Administrative/Biographical history:

Acton Cottage Hospital, the gift of J Passmore Edwards, was built on land in Gunnersbury Lane given by Lord Rothschild, to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria. It opened on 4 May 1898 with 12 beds. By 1902 the "Passmore Edwards' Acton Cottage Hospital, Nursing Institution and Invalid Kitchen" included a rapidly expanding outpatients department, a district nursing service, a provident dispensary, and an invalid kitchen. The hospital was extended in 1904 and 1909 to provide 30 beds for in-patients, a children's ward and operating theatre. It was financed by voluntary donations, annual subscriptions, fetes, carnivals and other fundraising events. According to the rules in 1902 the "Hospital shall be open to the poor resident, or employed by residents in Acton, free of charge; but if there be a vacant bed, needy residents may be admitted for operations or accidents as paying patients, at a minimum fee of just over two pounds per week. Not more than one paying patient shall at any time be in the Hospital." Cases of mental disorder, infectious diseases, incurable illness, advanced pulmonary disease and childbirth were not admitted. Except in urgent cases prospective patients had to produce a letter of recommendation and a medical certificate.

By 1915 the name of the hospital had been changed to Acton Hospital. Many military patients were admitted during the First World War. In 1916 the hospital agreed with Acton District Council that it would provide an antenatal clinic, an infant dispensary, and one bed for the treatment of complicated cases of pregnancy; In 1923 a substantial enlargement of the hospital was completed. The annual report for that year proclaimed that "Acton is now in possession of one of the finest General suburban Hospitals, with an excellent outpatients department and a resident Medical officer, a staff of fully qualified Nurses, an X-ray Apparatus, and other accessories which go to the efficient equipment of a General Hospital." Wards were provided for the treatment of paying patients who were unable to afford the higher charges demanded by nursing homes. Further extensions by 1928 brought the total bed complement up to 62 and saw the opening of nurses' hostel; In 1948 Acton Hospital became part of the National Health Service as an 84 bed general hospital, with a large and well-equipped X-ray department and a large physiotherapy department. It was administered by the Central Middlesex Group Hospital Management Committee of the North West Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board. On the reorganisation of the NHS in 1974 it was transferred to the North Hammersmith District (Teaching) of Ealing, Hammersmith and Hounslow Area Health Authority (Teaching). A report in 1975 (H40/AC/A/06/008) concluded that Acton Hospital could not undertake the functions of a district general hospital, and recommended that it should become a community hospital.

Since 1980 it has been used for the treatment of geriatric patients requiring long term care and rehabilitation. On the further reorganisation of the NHS in 1982 Acton Hospital became the responsibility of Hammersmith Special Health Authority (from 1985 Hammersmith and Queen Charlotte's Special Health Authority). In 1990 the former casualty department was redeveloped to house "The Gunnersbury Unit" an elderly mentally ill assessment unit. In 1994 Acton Hospital became part of the Hammersmith Hospitals Trust together with Hammersmith Hospital, Charing Cross Hospital and Queen Charlottes and Chelsea Hospital.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of Acton Hospital, 1895-1973, comprising minutes of various committees including Council and Management Committee minutes; the House, Finance and General Purposes Committee; the Ladies Committee; the Honorary Medical Staff; the Medical Advisory Committee and the Unit Staff Committee.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

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), Related Documentation (Y) and Prints and Photographs (PH).

Conditions governing access:

These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 1998.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright: Depositor

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:


Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's 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

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