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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): H36/WMX
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1896-1993
Level of description: subfonds
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Extent: 11.12 linear metres
Name of creator(s): West Middlesex University Hospital


Administrative/Biographical history:

In 1837 the newly formed Brentford Board of Guardians built a large workhouse on the east side of the Twickenham Road in Isleworth on what is now the northern part of the site of the West Middlesex University Hospital. In the 1880's on land to the south of the workhouse they constructed a school for 280 children formerly accommodated in the workhouse. This was opened in 1883 by Sir Charles Wentworth Dilke. The School was enlarged in 1901 and renamed Percy House Schools. From 1915 to 1918 it was used as a military hospital. By this time Percy House was no longer needed by the Guardians as a school since a change in policy meant children were now boarded out with foster parents or housed in scattered homes. The building was leased to HM Office of Works and was for many years used as a store for army records.

In 1894 Brentford Board of Guardians purchased from Lord Warkworth a house and grounds situated to the south east of Percy House adjoining Mill Platt. Together with other acquisitions this enlarged the total site to about 40 acres fronting Twickenham Road and Mill Platt. Brentford Union Infirmary was built between 1894 and 1896 on the northern part of the site, incorporating some of the original workhouse buildings. The rest of the workhouse was demolished. A new workhouse, known as Warkworth House, was built on the southern part of the site between 1900 and 1902. The original house, now called Little Warkworth House, was later used to accommodate the School of Nursing.

Under the Local Government Act of 1929 Brentford Board of Guardians was abolished. All its responsibilities including the infirmary, known since 1920 as West Middlesex Hospital, Warkworth House and Percy House were transferred in 1930 to the Middlesex County Council. The annual report of the County Medical Officer of Health for 1930 described West Middlesex Hospital as a general hospital of about 400 beds dealing largely with acute medical and surgical cases, but also with some chronic patients and maternity cases "of special difficulty". Adjoining the hospital was Warkworth House, "a large well-planned mixed institution with accommodation for some 800 persons." On 31 December 1930 it housed a total of 559 sick persons compared with 254 healthy inmates. 147 beds were reserved for cases of mental illness and epilepsy. The maternity block containing 16 beds formed part of the institution. Brentford Board of Guardians has started to build a modern maternity unit as part of the hospital. The Queen Mary Maternity Wing was completed in 1932 with accommodation for 30 cases. In 1935 the upper floor was adapted to provide an additional 32 beds. The Guardians had also begun to build an electrotherapeutic department. In 1933 Middlesex County Council appointed a pathologist and equipped a pathology laboratory.

By 1935 Middlesex County Council had regained possession of Percy House from HM Office of Works. Aged and ablebodied inmates were transferred to Percy House from Warkworth House, which then became part of West Middlesex hospital. On 1 April 1936 the hospital removed from the Poor Law and was appropriated for the reception and treatment of the sick under the Public Health Acts.

In 1948 West Middlesex Hospital became part of the National Health Service under the control of the North West Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board and South West Middlesex Hospital Management Committee. Percy House was retained by Middlesex County Council as "Part III" accommodation. It continued in use as an old people's home until 1975. Most of the buildings of Percy House were demolished in 1981.

With a total of 1,254 beds and buildings stretching a mile from one end of the site to the other, West Middlesex Hospital was one of the largest groups of hospital buildings in the country. It was much in need of modernisation and improvement. A new outpatients' and casualty department was built in 1952. In the early 1960's a scheme for the redevelopment of the hospital was prepared, but only the first phase, the construction of the Medical Department and a new boiler house, was completed.

In 1974 West Middlesex Hospital became part of Hounslow Health District of Ealing, Hammersmith and Hounslow Area Health Authority. In 1982 it was transferred to Hounslow and Spelthorne Health Authority. In about 1980 the hospital was renamed the West Middlesex University Hospital. In 1992 it became West Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of West Middlesex University Hospital, including annual reports, 1961-1976; administrative files on subjects including the redevelopment of the hospital, staffing, information for patients, medical committees, research ethics, procedures and correspondence, 1939-1992; registers of admission, 1946-1948; registers of creed, 1942-1944; registers of birth, 1896-1976; registers of deaths, 1946-1956, registers of operations, 1920-1971; matron's report books, 1896-1931; registers of sisters, staff nurses, probationers and assistant nurses, 1896-1968; School of Nursing prospectuses, 1960-1970; Isleworth League of Nurses journals, 1923-1957 and photographs of the hospital, staff and patients, 1940-1985.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The records are arranged as follows: A = Administration, B = Patients' records, C = Staff records, PH = Photographs, Y = Related documentation.

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:

ACC/3146, B02/012, B03/036, B06/011.

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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