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St Mary Abbots Hospital

The Sweeney – Hospital holding coshed Security Guard

Regan and Carter exit through the front doors of St Mary Abbots Hospital after interviewing the coshed Security Guard. The front of the hospital has since been altered.

Kensington Infirmary and Kensington Workhouse were administered by the Kensington Board of Guardians until 1930. Kensington Workhouse became known as Kensington Institution in 1912 and Kensington Infirmary became St Mary Abbot’s Hospital in 1923. In 1930 when the London County Council took over the two hospitals, St Mary Abbot’s Hospital was designated a type A hospital for the acute sick, and Kensington Institution became a type B hospital for the chronic sick. In 1931 on the retirement of the Master of Kensington Institution, the hospital was placed under the charge of a Medical Superintendent as a first stage in integrating the two hospitals. This was carried a step further in 1933 when the Institution was renamed St Mary Abbot’s Hospital (Institution).

From 1938 St Mary Abbot’s Hospital became St Mary Abbot’s Hospital (I) and St Mary Abbot’s Hospital (Institution) became St Mary Abbot’s Hospital (II), until 17 June 1944 when Hospital (II) was closed due to enemy action. The two hospitals were eventually united formally in 1948 when they were taken in to the National Health Service.

In 1948 St Mary Abbot’s Hospital was assigned to the Fulham and Kensington Hospital Management Committee of the South West Metropolitan Region. On 1 October 1960 the Fulham and Kensington Hospital Management Committee was amalgamated with the Chelsea Hospital Management Committee to form the Chelsea and Kensington Hospital Management Committee which administered the hospital until 1974. At that date it became part of the Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster Area Health Authority, within the North West Thames Regional Health Authority. In 1982 the hospital became part of the Victoria Health Authority, and in 1986 it is part of the Riverside Health Authority.

From 1948 to 1955 the hospital was a general hospital with approximately 400 beds. From 1955 to 1972 it was designated an acute hospital. From 1972 to 1984 it specialised in Ear, Nose and Throat cases, geriatrics and psychiatrics, with geriatric and psychiatric day hospitals from 1978. During this period the number of beds at the hospital was 230 approximately. From 1984 the hospital has been designated a long-stay hospital.

The Metropolitan Ear, Nose and Throat hospital was absorbed into the Marloes Road site in 1953, and now exists as a separate hospital with 27 beds in 1986.

The oldest part of Kensington Workhouse, later known as Stone Hall, was built in 1847. A separate infirmary was built on the same site in 1871. Until 1875 the main dining hall behind the workhouse was used for chapel services. A legacy of £2,500 from Eliza France, wife of one of the Kensington Guardians, then made it possible to build a chapel to serve both the workhouse and the infirmary. The chapel was designed by A.W. Blomfield in the Early English style and was dedicated to St Elizabeth of Hungary.

The chapel was demolished in 1974 and was replaced by a modern chapel dedicated by the Bishop of Kensington in an ecumenical service on 8 June 1977. The hospital closed in 1992 on the opening of the new Chelsea and Westminster Hospital on the site of St Stephen’s Hospital, Fulham Road.

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