Search

Long history of Hornchurch landmark, St George’s Hospital, could be almost over

15:00 01 November 2012

St George

St George's Hospital, Hornchurch

Archant

An important historical landmark which is held in great affection,” was how one former NHS chief described it, but a Legionella scare may well have finally ended the debate surrounding St George’s Hospital.

A selection of events from the history of St George's Hospital, HornchurchA selection of events from the history of St George's Hospital, Hornchurch

The Hornchurch facility was opened in 1938 as an old people’s home, called Suttons Institution, but soon played a key role in the Battle of Britain – housing RAF airmen during the Second World War.

In 1948 the Sutton’s Lane building was renamed St George’s and turned into a hospital.

The future of the site has been a live issue since at least 2005, when a consultation was launched on whether to refurbish, redevelop or close the hospital.

The number of patients being admitted fell that year and bosses considered closing one of the hospital’s four wards.

A campaign, led by the then Hornchurch MP James Brokenshire, was organised to halt the closure of St George’s. The consultation was put on hold while the government altered health policy.

In 2007, the then head of nursing at the hospital, Lynne Swiatczak, said that the facilities were “not suitable for the care of adults” – and Havering Primary Care Trust clarified that only a rebuild would ensure that the facilities would remain up to the standard that patients expect.

But the Recorder recently learnt that only two full building inspections have been carried out at the site in the last 10 years – in 2001 and 2008.

In 2009, health chiefs paid about £100,000 for plans for a new high-tech building on the same site and another consultation was launched.

Chas Hollwey, then chief executive of NHS Havering, said: “The old hospital is an important historical landmark which is held in great affection,” while adding that the building could not remain in its current state.

The £100,000 plans were not acted on and NHS Havering was subsequently abolished and the consultation shelved.

Inpatients from St George’s two wards were due to be moved out of the hospital in mid-November, with outpatient services remaining.

However, the discovery of Legionella bacteria has now left the hospital lying empty – at least for now.

The future of the site has still not been officially settled.

Health bosses say they have not decided whether outpatients will be moved back into the facility, and will launch a consultation on the future of the site.

But others believe that St George’s fate has all but been decided.

A leaflet put out by Hacton Conservative Party recently said the hospital would be closed and the bulk of its site sold off for housing – with some sort of new health centre also being built on Suttons Lane.

0 comments

Latest Romford News Stories

A range of single storey garages were destroyed by a fire in Rush Green this afternoon

Firefighters from four stations spent two hours bringing a fire that destroyed a number of single storey garages under control.

Robert Morris aged 22  from Hornchurch

Do you know the whereabouts of these five people? They are all sought by police on suspicion of a number of alleged crimes, ranging from assault to robbery.

Pupils from Frances Bardsley Academy For Girls with the help of Romford Model Engineering Club have successfully built a 250 ft train track to encourage engineering

Pupils have been set on the track to a future in engineering thanks to a pioneering new venture.

Mia Delaney at the cake sale held by Langtons Junior Academy

Thousands of pounds have been raised to assist the family of an 11-year-old girl with cancer who is due to have treatment in America next month.

Travellers in Wincanton Road, Harold Hill Picture: John Eboy

Travellers have settled in Harold Hill over the weekend and at a closed petrol station in Romford.

Pupils from St Edwards Church of England and Sixth Form College School with certificates gained from an arts awards evening.

An awards evening for progress and effort in art, drama and music was held at a school last week.

10:20
Large park of the year - Raphael Park

Havering parks have been awarded a record 11 Green Flags sparking celebrations during Love Parks Week.

13:11
Ex West Ham footballer Tony Cottee launches the new Coral betting shop in the Libertyy Centre. L to R Terence Matthews, shop manager Julie Aston, Tony Cottee, Tayla Dobson and area manager Dave Blackery

West Ham legend Tony Cottee opened a new betting shop in the The Liberty shopping centre on Saturday.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

News from your area

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

Competitions

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

£15k prize bundle

Imagine having the opportunity to win an incredible £15,000 bundle of some of the most amazing prizes available. Well, for one lucky contest entrant that dream could soon become a reality because we at MyOffers are offering an incredible free prize bundle that will make even the most hardened person wild with excitement.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now