St Charles Hospital

Hospital in/near North Kensington, existing between 1881 and now

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St Charles Hospital

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Hospital · North Kensington · W10 ·
MARCH
28
2017

The St Marylebone workhouse infirmary was opened in 1881 on Rackham Street, North Kensington and received a congratulatory letter from Florence Nightingale.


In 1876 potential sites for an infirmary for the sick poor of the parish of St Marylebone were being considered in the West End, Hampstead and Ladbroke Grove in North Kensington. The last site was finally chosen - a 3.5 acre site in Rackham Street costing almost £8100 - and the foundation stone was laid in 1879.

In 1881 the St Marylebone Union Infirmary was officially opened by the Prince and Princess of Wales. The building was three storeys high, with a central block and four pavilions. It had accommodation for 744 patients (372 males in the two pavilions to the west of the central block and 372 females to the east) and 86 resident staff (the Infirmary also had 82 non-resident staff).

The staff included a resident Medical Officer, whose annual salary should have been £500, but the Guardians managed to beat this down to £450, an Assistant Medical Officer, who earned £150 a year, a dispenser (£120 a year) and a Matron, who earned between £100-150. The Assistant Matron received £50-70 a year, while a pavilion nurse earned £28-32. A day or night nurse received £20-25 a year, while the Head Night Nurse received £32-38. Accommodation, rations, uniforms and laundry were included.

In 1884 more land was bought and a Nurses' Home built, which was opened by Princess Christian, daughter of Queen Victoria. Florence Nightingale established a Training School for Nurses at the Infirmary, one of the first in a poor law establishment.

In 1902 an X-ray apparatus was installed and an operating theatre opened.

In 1923 the Infirmary was renamed the St Marylebone Hospital. By this time it had 732 beds; the patients were mainly chronically infirm adults and children. The following year an extension adjacent to the west end of the original Nurses' Home was opened by the then Minister of Health, Neville Chamberlain (the extension became known as the Chamberlain Home). In 1926 some wards had bedside wireless sets installed. In 1928 an internal phone system was installed.

In 1930 the LCC took over administrative charge and renamed it St Charles Hospital. New buldings were erected in the open spaces between the pavilions during the 1930s and, in 1936, another new Nurses' Home opened. In 1937 new accommodation was built for the night nurses at the northwest corner of the site, which had previously been occupied by the doctors' garden (the Chamberlain Home had proved to be inadequate and noisy). In 1938 an epidemic of infective enteritis in babies caused several to be admitted. Some died and this affected the reputation of the Hospital for a while.

In 1939 the Hospital became a District General Hospital, but facilities were inadequate and few operations were performed. For the duration of WW2 all the top floor wards were closed. A bomb demolished the southern boundary wall and several windows were blown out. A few incendiary bombs fell in the open spaces, but the Hospital survived relatively unscathed.

In 1948 St Charles Hospital joined the NHS under the control of the Paddington Group Hospital Management Committee. The number of beds decreased as wards were taken over for other uses. By 1949 there were 400 beds, 260 of which were medical, including 60 for TB patients, 12 for venereal disease and 45 for children.

During the 1950s the Hospital acquired several Portakabins and an Out-Patients Department opened. In 1952 an 8-bedded plastic surgery unit was opened by Sir Harold Gillies (1882-1960).

In 1960 a bleeper system was installed for the medical staff. New pathology laboratories opened in 1964 and, in 1966, the wards were modernized. The Peter Pan Ward, with 36 beds, was opened as a facility for mothers to stay with their children. In 1967 a modern, fully air-conditioned twin operating theatre with anaesthetic and recovery rooms was built. The following year a new plastic surgery ward was opened by Lady Gillies.

The Out-Patients Department was extended in 1972 and, in 1973, a Paediatric Department was opened by Sir Keith Joseph (1918-1994), Secretary of State for Health and Social Services.

By 1981 the Hospital had 350 beds with 600 staff (one-third of which were resident), reversing the earlier situation when there had been more beds than staff. 104 beds were for general medical cases, 81 surgical, 36 orthopaedic, 36 paediatric and 63 for the elderly. The wards were upgraded and the following year plans were made for a new psychiatric and psychogeriatric unit to be established between the main Hospital and St Marks Road, giving an extra 116 beds and 120 places in a Day Hospital.

In-patient services gradually reduced though and, by 1998, the Hospital had 120 beds. The site became underused and its future uncertain. In 2007 NHS Direct closed its call centre based at the Hospital.

The Hospital is currently managed by Kensington and Chelsea Primary Case Trust (PCT), although historically most in-patients had been from Westminster. The PCT runs a Minor Injuries Unit, a palliative care centre and a pharmacy; there are 61 beds for patients requiring rehabilitation. About one-third of the site is occupied by a Mental Health Centre operated by the Central and North West London Mental Health Trust (CNWL).


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Elgin Mews, W11 Elgin Mews lies in Notting Hill.
Enbrook Street, W10 Enbrook Street is another street north of Harrow Road, W10 without a pub.
Exmoor Street, W10 Exmoor Street runs from Barlby Road to St Charles Square, W10
Eynham Road, W12 Eynham Road is a road in the W12 postcode area
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Rosmead Road, W11 Rosmead Road, W11 was originally called Chichester Road.
Ruston Mews, W11 Ruston Mews, W11 was originally Crayford Mews.
Saint Charles Place, W10 This is a street in the W10 postcode area
Saint Charles Square, W10 This is a street in the W10 postcode area
Saint Helens Gardens, W10 This is a street in the W10 postcode area
Saint Josephs Close, W10 This is a street in the W10 postcode area
Saint Lawrence Terrace, W10 Saint Lawrence Terrace is one of the streets of London in the W10 postal area.
Saint Mark’s Road, W10 This is a street in the W10 postcode area
Saint Marks Place, W11 This is a street in the W11 postcode area
Saint Marks Road, W10 This is a street in the W10 postcode area
Saint Michaels Gardens, W10 This is a street in the W10 postcode area
Saint Quintin Avenue, W10 This is a street in the W10 postcode area
Saint Quintin Gardens, W10 This is a street in the W10 postcode area
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Scampston Mews, W10 Scampston Mews is a street in North Kensington, London W10
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Shinfield Street, W12 Shinfield Street is a road in the W12 postcode area
Shrewsbury Court, EC1Y Shrewsbury Court is a road in the EC1Y postcode area
Shrewsbury Street, W10 Shrewsbury Street is one of the streets of London in the W10 postal area.
Silchester Mews, W10 Silchester Mews, shaped like an H, disappeared in 1969 under the Westway.
Silchester Road, W10 Silchester Road crosses the border between London W10 and London W11.
Silchester Street, W10 Silchester Street is a lost street of North Kensington.
Silchester Terrace, W10 Silchester Terrace was lost to W10 in the 1960s.
Sixth Avenue, W10 Sixth Avenue is a street on the Queen's Park Estate, London W10
Snarsgate Street, W10 Snarsgate Street is one of the streets of London in the W10 postal area.
Southam Street, W10 Southam Street was made world-famous in the photographs of Roger Mayne.
Southern Row, W10 Southern Row is a street in North Kensington, London W10
St Andrews Square, W11 St Andrews Square is a street in Notting Dale, formed when the Rillington Place area was demolished.
St Charles Place, W10 St Charles Place is a street in North Kensington, London W10
St Charles Square, W10 St Charles Square is a street in North Kensington, London W10
St Johns Terrace, W10 St Johns Terrace is a street in North Kensington, London W10
St Lawrence Terrace, W10 St Lawrence Terrace is a street in North Kensington, London W10
St Marks Close, SE10 St Marks Close is a road in the SE10 postcode area
St Marks Road, W10 St Marks Road lies partly in W10 and partly in W11.
St Marks Road, W11 St Marks Road, W11 is the southern extention of the W10 street and in the Latimer Road area.
St Mark’s Close, W11 St Mark’s Close is a street in Notting Hill.
St Mark’s Place, W11 St Mark’s Place is situated on the site of the former Kensington Hippodrome.
St Mark’s Road, W10 St Mark’s Road is a road in the W10 postcode area
St Quintin Avenue, W10 St Quintin Avenue is a street in North Kensington, London W10
St Quintin Gardens, W10 St Quintin Gardens is a street in North Kensington, London W10
St. Mark’s Road, W10 St. Mark’s Road is a road in the W10 postcode area
St. Mark’s Road, W10 St. Mark’s Road is a road in the W10 postcode area
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Stable Way, W10 Stable Way is a street in North Kensington, London W10
Stansbury Square, W10 This is a street in the W10 postcode area
Station Walk, SE6 Station Walk is a road in the SE6 postcode area
Station Walk, W10 Station Walk is one of the streets of London in the W10 postal area.
Station Walk, W11 Station Walk is a street in Notting Hill.
Sunbeam Crescent, W10 Sunbeam Crescent is a street in North Kensington, London W10
Sutton Way, W10 Sutton Way is a street in North Kensington, London W10
Sycamore Walk, W10 Queen's Park Estate
Symphony Mews, W10 Symphony Mews is one of the streets of London in the W10 postal area.
Telford Road, W10 Telford Road is a street in North Kensington, London W10
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Treverton Street, W10 Treverton Street, a street which survived post war redevelopment.
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Verity Close, W11 Verity Close is a street in W11
Wakeman Road, NW10 Wakeman Road is a street in Willesden.
Wallingford Avenue, W10 Wallingford Avenue is one of the streets of London in the W10 postal area.
Walmer Road, W10 Walmer Road is the great lost road of North Kensington, obliterated under Westway.
Warfield Road, NW10 Warfield Road is a street in Willesden.
Waynflete Square, W10 Waynflete Square is a street in North Kensington, London W10
Waynflete Square, W10 Waynflete Square is one of the newer roads in the vicinity of Latimer Road station.
Webb Close, W10 Webb Close is one of the streets of London in the W10 postal area.
Wedlake Street, W10 Wedlake Street arrived as the second wave of building in Kensal Town was completed.
Wellington Road, NW10 Wellington Road commemorates the Duke of Wellington.
Wesley Square, W11 Wesley Square is a street in Notting Hill.
West Row, W10 West Row, W10 began its life in the early 1840s.
Westview Close, W10 Westview Close is one of the streets of London in the W10 postal area.
Wheatstone Road, W10 Wheatstone Road is one of the streets of London in the W10 postal area.
Whitchurch Road, W11 Whitchurch Road is a street in Notting Hill.
Wornington Road, W10 Wornington Road connected Golborne Road with Ladbroke Grove, though the Ladbroke end is now closed to through traffic.


North Kensington

North Kensington lies either side of Ladbroke Grove, W10.

North Kensington was rural until the 19th century, when it was developed as a suburb with quite large homes. By the 1880s, too many houses had been built for the upper-middle class towards whom the area was aimed. Large houses were divided into low cost flats which often degenerated into slums, as documented in the photographs of Roger Mayne.

During the 1980s, the area started to be gentrified although areas in the north west of the district at Ladbroke Grove and Westbourne Park remain deprived and run down to this day.

Waves of immigrants have arrived for at least a century including, but certainly not limited to, the Spanish, the Irish, the Jews, the West Indians, the Portuguese, the Moroccans and many from the Horn of Africa and Eastern Europe. This constant renewal of the population makes the area one of the most cosmopolitan in London.

The Notting Hill carnival was first staged in 1964 as a way for the local Afro-Caribbean communities to celebrate their own cultures and traditions. After some rough times in the 1970s and 1980s when it became associated with social protest, violence and huge controversy over policing tactics, this is now Europe’s largest carnival/festival event and a major event in the London calendar. It is staged every August over the Bank holiday weekend.
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