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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: Barts Health NHS Trust Archives (Royal London Hospital Archives)
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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
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


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:

Minutes, committee minutes, agenda books, rules and regulations, files and miscellaneous.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

See Scope and content.

Conditions governing access:

Some material may be 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:

Held centrally and transferred to the Archives.

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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