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Archives in London and the M25 area

Plaistow Hospital

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0387 PL
Held at: Barts Health NHS Trust Archives (Royal London Hospital Archives)
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Full title: Plaistow Hospital
Date(s): 1959-1975
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 8 volumes
Name of creator(s): Plaistow Hospital
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

This hospital originated from the West Ham Board of Guardians Smallpox Hospital, which was established in Western Road , Plaistow in 1871, the Poplar Board of Works Infectious Diseases Hospital, which opened in Samson Street in 1878 and the Smallpox Hospital established in Pragel Street by West Ham Local Board in 1884. The Pragel Street premises closed in 1894 when the Samson Street premises were purchased by West Ham Borough Council and in the following year the Council likewise purchased the Smallpox Hospital at Western Road. Through the closure of part of Western Road, a large island site was made available for the development of a new Infectious Diseases Hospital, which opened in 1901 with accommodation for 210 patients as Plaistow Fever Hospital.
The new Hospital was considered to be one of the most modern of its kind and originated the barrier method of nursing infectious cases. Training of probationer nurses had commenced in 1898. In 1906 the Hospital was recognised by several universities and the royal college for the training of medical students in infectious diseases and over the next 37 years over 3000 students received fever training at Plaistow. The Hospital was damaged by bombing during World War II and in 1947 the older Samson Street buildings were made available for Queen Mary's Hospital, Stratford, as a medical in-patient department. The name of the Hospital was changed to Plaistow Hospital in 1948 in recognition of the fact that it was available for acute medical cases as well as infectious cases. In 1982 chest medicine beds were transferred to St. Andrew's Hospital by Newham Health Authority and from 1983 the hospital began to specialise in elderly long stay patients with such patients from Newham transferring from Langthorne Hospital, Leyton to Plaistow. A dementia assessment unit was opened in 1987and in 1990 Plaistow day Hospital was upgraded and extended to provide 40 places for elderly people. Management of the hospital transferred from East London & The City Health Authority to Newham Community Health Services NHS Trust in 1995. It closed in 2006 when the patients from the Frail Elders Services were transferred to the newly opened, purpose-built East Ham Care Centre, behind the East Ham Memorial Hospital in Shrewsbury Road. The patients had occupied just half the site of the Plaistow Hospital and it was felt it was no longer economically viable to keep the remaining staff on site.


Scope and content/abstract:

Nurse training records.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

See Scope and content.

Conditions governing access:

This material is restricted. Please contact the repository in the first instance.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copying and digitisation services are available for unrestricted material. Researchers should contact the repository in the first instance.

Finding aids:

See 'Detailed catalogue' link above.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Transferred from Stratford Local Studies Library by the Director of Leisure Services, London Borough of Newham in 1997.

Allied Materials

Related material:

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Originally compiled by Julie Tancell as part of the RSLP AIM25 project. Updated by Clare Button, Archivist, School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London.

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:
June 2001, updated April 2020.

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