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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): H36/SJ
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1940-1972
Level of description: subfonds
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Extent: 0.43 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Saint John's Hospital | Twickenham


Administrative/Biographical history:

Saint John's Hospital was founded in 1879 by Miss Elizabeth Twining of Dial House, Twickenham. She purchased Amyand House in Twickenham, which she gave to trustees together with money for alterations and additions and an endowment of three thousand pounds. The Provident and Outpatient Department of the Hospital opened in 1879. Two wards to accommodate a total of twelve inpatients were completed in 1880, when the hospital was officially opened by the Duchess of Teck. The hospital was intended to benefit local residents who could not afford to pay for medical attendance at the ordinary rates, but were able and willing to pay periodical subscriptions to the institution. Any one in receipt of parish relief or in a position to pay for medical attendance at the ordinary rate was excluded.

The early years of the hospital were dominated by financial crises leading to the dismissal of the Medical Superintendent, Dr Benthall, and his consequent legal battles with the committee for reinstatement or compensation. The hospital was closed for over two years while legal actions were in progress. It reopened in 1885 under a Charity Commission Scheme without a resident medical superintendent. Medical treatment was provided by local general practitioners.

To enable the hospital to care for the needs of the rapidly rising population of Twickenham and the growing number of road accident cases, a "scheme of extensions of buildings and equipment" commenced in 1932. The two wards were enlarged to increase the number of beds, an X-ray Department was completed and opened between 1933 and 1935, and the adjoining property, Newlands House, was purchased in 1935. This was initially used as accommodation for nurses and the hospital secretary's office, but the ultimate intention was to build an extension on its site. The most urgent requirements were for an enlarged Outpatients Department and a new children's ward to replace the original children's ward which had been taken over for massage and electrical treatment. These plans were still unrealised on the outbreak of war in 1939.

In 1948 Saint John's Hospital (by then a 32-bed hospital) became part of the National Health Service as one of the South West Middlesex Group of Hospitals of the North West Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board. Two visitors from King Edward's Hospital Fund for London were unfavourably impressed by the hospital in October 1954. "This rather sad little general practitioner hospital built 50 years ago is about to be renovated by the Group. It has two wards of 16 beds each, and is forced to maintain 10 chronic sick patients. Originally the Regional Board proposed to make it a solely chronic hospital but local opposition prevented this." Three years later the King's Fund visitors reported little improvement. "The whole impression of this hospital was rather depressing. We doubt very much whether it is worth while spending money on this unsuitable building which appears to have outlived its purpose."

In 1974 Saint John's Hospital became the responsibility of Ealing, Hammersmith and Hounslow Area Health Authority (Teaching). In 1982 it passed to Hounslow and Spelthorne Health Authority. The hospital closed in 1985.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of Saint John's Hospital, Twickenham, including register of operations, 1957-1972; physiotherapy department treatment register, 1940-1949; papers belonging to the Sector Administrator, Hounslow District Health Authority relating to Saint John's including information on history, security, building management and equipment, 1976-1986 and League of Friends correspondence, 1976.

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 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

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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