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Archives in London and the M25 area

Medical Council of the London Hospital

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0387 LM
Held at: Royal London Hospital
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Full title: Medical Council of the London Hospital
Date(s): 1868-1991
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 5 linear metres
Name of creator(s): London Hospital Medical Council


Administrative/Biographical history:

The origins of the London Hospital Medical Council date from 1831, when the medical practitioners teaching in the Medical College formed themselves into an association of "Lecturers on and Teachers of Medicine, Surgery and Anatomy and other Sciences connected therewith at the Theatre attached to the London Hospital". The deed of covenant which created the body also set out basic rules for the Association and the ownership of the college museum. Records of the Association from 1831 to 1846 are lost, although some information from the minutes is recorded in a notebook by James Luke.

The Association became the Medical Council of the London Hospital School in 1847, and membership was extended to include the assistant physicians and surgeons. The old Medical College premises were now proving inadequate and in 1854 the Governors of the Hospital agreed to erect a new building. In the resultant administrative changes, the medical and surgical officers of the Hospital took over the management of the College from the Medical Council, as the London Hospital College Council. In practice, the Medical Council and the College Council consisted of the same people.

The management of the College was in the hands of the College Council (called, by 1868, the Medical Council of the London Hospital School) from 1855 to 1876, and the Medical Council continued to be heavily involved with the affairs of the college. In 1876 the Medical Council and the Board of Governors jointly established a College Board, comprising members of the House Committee and Medical Council. The Medical Council became less involved with the Medical College's affairs, and transferred its executive functions to the College Board. In 1888 membership of the Council comprised the physicians and surgeons of the hospital and lecturers at the Medical College of two years standing. In 1901 membership of the Council was extended, making it the sole channel through which views of the medical staff were expressed. The principal role of the Council was to advise the governors and the House Committee on all matters which affected the medical staff.

The Council had the power to create committees for particular purposes, but from 1960 its committee structure consisted of a Medical Committee and a Surgical Committee, and a Standing Committee to which they reported. In the late 1960s, the Medical Council's Medical and Surgical Committees were replaced by Divisions. Between 1969 and 1978 further divisions of Anaesthesia, Dentistry, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Pathology and Radiography (later Medical Imaging), Scientific and Technical Services and Paramedical Services were created. In 1971 the Standing Committee was abolished and replaced by the Final Medical Committee, which acted as the medium for transmitting advice between the Board of Governors (later District Management Team) and the consultant medical and dental staff. In 1974 the scope of the council was extended to include the whole of the new Tower Hamlets Health District, becoming the Medical Council of the London and Tower Hamlets Hospitals.

The Dental Council developed from the Dental School Committee, which was formed in 1911 to manage the Dental School. The Dental Council became known as the London Hospital Dental Board from 1913 to 1921, and from 1922 onwards the Dental Council. In 1974 the Council became the Division of Dentistry, reporting to the Final Medical Committee.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the London Hospital Medical Council, 1868-1991, comprising minutes of the Council, 1880-1970, 1975-1991; minutes of Ad Hoc Committees, 1882-1901; Standing Committee, 1964-1971; minutes of the Medical Committee, 1906-1952, 1964-1969 and related papers, 1906-1951; minutes of the Surgical Committee, 1901-1936, 1964-1969 and related papers, 1901-1939; minutes of meetings of Surgeons and Assistant Surgeons, 1936-1939;

meetings of Medical Council and Nursing Computer Sub-Committee, 1976-1979;
Medical Council agenda books, 1881-1911, 1965-1974;
rules and regulations, 1868, 1888, 1901, 1936;

reports, papers and letters, [1893]-1911; letter book, 1906-1909; correspondence and papers, including letter from the Finsen Medical Institute, Copenhagen, 1907; papers relating to College finances, 1899-1911; annual Council meetings, 1901-1907; building projects, 1901-1905; the Dispensary, 1901-1906; Medical Clubs Union annual reports and balance sheets, 1901-1909; papers relating to the Institute of Pathology, 1901-1905; postgraduate medical education in London, 1901-1904; staffing, 1901-1908; College endowment, 1902; the Museum, 1902; Opthalmic Surgeons, 1902; Cancer Research fund, 1903; Operating Theatres, [1903]; Marie Celeste wards, 1905; nursing and midwifery training, 1905; provision for circumcision, 1906; accommodation, including laboratories and proposed link with East London College, 1906-1908; Stepney Visitors Association and tuberculosis, 1906-1907; Clinical Laboratory, 1907; Dental Surgeons, 1907; education of women undergraduates, 1930; Isolation Block, 1908; memorandum and articles of association of the London Hospital Medical College, 1910; Dental School draft regulations, 1912; correspondence relating to the dismissal of Nurses, 1907; Clinical lectures, 1908;

minutes of the Tutorship and Prospectus Sub-Committee, 1905; minutes and correspondence of the Professorship Committee, 1907; general papers and correspondence, 1947-1977; papers and reports relating to Hospital Departments, notably Aural Department, 1902; Out-Patient Department, 1902-1908; Bacteriological Department, 1903-1908; Electrical Department, 1903-1907; Opsonic Department, 1905-1908; Massage Department, 1906-1907; Opthalmic, Throat and Ear and Skin and Light Departments, 1906; Statistical Department, 1908.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The records are arranged as follows: Minutes; Committees; Agendas; Rules and regulations; Files and miscellaneous.

Conditions governing access:

Researchers wishing to consult the Archives should first contact the Trust Archivist, The Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel, London, E1 1BB, for an appointment.

Conditions governing reproduction:

A photocopying service is available at the discretion of the Archivist. Photocopies are supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Archivist.

Finding aids:

A list is available at the Royal London Hospital Archives and Museum.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Held centrally and transferred to the Archives.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Records of the London Hospital Medical College, 1740-1996 (reference: MC), Royal London Hospital, 1740-[1999] (reference: LH), notes from minutes of the "Lecturers and Teachers of Medicine, Surgery and Anatomy and other Sciences connected therewith at the Theatre attached to the London Hospital", 1831-1837 (later the Medical Council) in James Luke's notebook (reference: LH/X/13/8), records of the Medical Council, 1846-1880 (reference MC/A), files relating to the Medical Council, 1935-1936 (reference: LH/A/24), minutes of the Dental Council, 1911-1955 (reference: MC/A), papers of Dr Alistair McDonald (reference: PP/MCD) are held by the London Hospital Archives and Museum.

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Julie Tancell as part of the RSLP AIM25 project.

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

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