Since the eighteenth century, the hospitals of London have played a leading role in the development of modern medicine. Most joined the NHS on the `Appointed Day' (5 July 1948) but, as medical treatments improved and financial budgets became increasingly stringent, many were considered redundant and closed, despite vociferous protests from local residents. Veronika and Fred Chambers are the first to chronicle a rich history of twentieth-century hospitals that has been hitherto neglected, beautifully illustrated with historic images from the collection of London-born Rob Higgins, now a Professor at the University of Warwick.
This book highlights the social history and diversity of these hospitals. Included are voluntary general and specialist hospitals, many of which became internationally renowned undergraduate and postgraduate teaching centres, as well as the huge mental asylums built in the late nineteenth century and, at the other end of the scale, local cottage hospitals. This pictorial tour of London's hospitals explores the fascinating stories behind some of the city's most iconic institutions, including St Bartholomew's Hospital, St Mary's Hospital and the National Hospital (Queen Square).
Since 2007 Veronika and Fred Chambers have documented all the hospitals that operated in London during the twentieth century, a task not previously undertaken. Their list so far stands at over 1,000 institutions. Not only have they established a written history and relevant sources, but have also confirmed the exact location and any remaining buildings on the site of each hospital. Details are available through the 'Lost Hospitals of London' website. Professor Rob Higgins works at the University of Warwick and University Hospital Coventry. He is a doctor who was born and trained in East London, and has worked in many hospitals around London. He has an interest in local and medical history, and has an extensive collection of images of London hospitals. He has previously published extensively on kidney transplantation and on ceramics of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.