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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): H08
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1838-1990
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 18.35 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital


Administrative/Biographical history:

In 1905, the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital amalgamated with the National Orthopaedic Hospital and became the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital.

The original amalgamation was to have included the City Orthopaedic Hospital but this did not come about until 1907 when the City became part of the site at Great Portland and Bolsover Streets. In 1909 the Nurses' Home and Outpatients Department were opened and in July of that year the new hospital at Great Portland and Bolsover Streets was opened by Edward VII. The building was designed by Roland Plumbe.

During World War I, the hospital offered the War Office beds for military cases. In 1922 the 'country' branch of the hospital was opened at Brockley Hill, Stanmore and the buildings in the centre of London were known as the 'town' branch. There were 100 patients in 1923 and by 1927 the hospital was extended to meet increasing demand.

In 1923, the hospital opened the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital School at the Stanmore site and in 1948 responsibility passed to Middlesex County Council and then the London Borough of Harrow in 1965 but the hospital's board of governors elected the governing body. The school provided full time education for children to the age of 16 and adult education from 1952. The school closed in 1998.

In the 1920s, proposals for amalgamation were received from the National Industrial Home for Crippled Boys based at Wrights Lane, Kensington. Amalgamation occurred in 1935 and the Stanmore Cripples Training College opened in 1937. Due to financial difficulties, it closed in 1949.

During World War II, the Great Portland Street basement was taken over by Marylebone Borough Council and the British Red Cross Society as a First Aid Post and Stanmore started to receive military patients in 1940. When V1 bombs started dropping in 1944, children from the hospital were evacuated, eventually returning in May, 1945.

In 1946, the Institute of Orthopaedics and Musculoskeletal Science was opened and moved to the Stanmore premises in 1948. The institute mainly conducts formal post graduate scientific research into orthopaedics and has close links with the University College of London (UCL).

In 1948, the hospital became an Independent Teaching Hospital and a Board of Governors replaced the Management Committee. In 1955, an Accident and Emergency Unit was opened at the Stanmore branch.

The Great Portland Street premises were closed in 1984. In 2008, the building at 49-51 Bolsover Street was sold for redevelopment and a new state of the art building was built at 45 Bolsover Street. This opened in December 2009 and called the London Outpatient Assessment Centre.

In 2011, approval was given for the complete redevelopment of the Stanmore Hospital which is scheduled for completion by 2014.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital include records relating to administration (1902 - 1986); patients (1924 - 1990); staff (1962 - 1979); finance (1900 - 1979); education (1885 - 1967); legal records (1907? - 1979); associated organisations (1927 - 1984); and printed material and historic notes (1906 - 1982).

The collection also contains records of predecessor organisations: Royal Orthopaedic Hospital (1838 - 1905); National Orthopaedic Hospital (1865 - 1905); and City Orthopaedic Hospital (1857 - 1907).

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

These records are arranged according to a classification scheme for hospital records:
H08/A - Administration
H08/B - Patients
H08/C - Staff
H08/D - Finance
H08/E - Education
H08/F - Legal records
H08/G - Associated organisations
H08/I - Printed material and historic notes
H08/PH - Photographs
H08/Q - Royal Orthopaedic Hospital
H08/R - National Orthopaedic Hospital
H08/S - City Orthopaedic Hospital.

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 is held by the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited in three accessions in 1975, 1998 and 2008.

Allied Materials

Related material:

For further information see: J. A. Cholmeley, History of the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (Chapman and Hall, 1985).

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 with updates October 2012

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