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Our history

Our hospitals have maintained a distinguished medical and nursing tradition throughout their history; they claim many eminent physicians and surgeons amongst their past and present alumni and staff. 


Mile End Hospital history timeline, 1858 - 2012

ME 1858 Image One

1858 - 1881: Origins
The site of what was later to become Mile End Hospital was acquired by the Board of Guardians of the poor of Mile End Old Town. A workhouse built on the site between 1858 and 1859. Within a few years over 500 adults and 170 children were residing at the workhouse and increasing proportion of the workhouse beds was being taken over as sick wards for the aged and bedbound.

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1881: Workhouse closes, new Infirmary built 
With the population of Mile End topping 110,000, many of the workhouse buildings were demolished to make way for a new Mile End Infirmary.

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1883: Mile End Infirmary opens
The new infirmary, providing beds for 500 patients, was opened in March 1883. It was designed by John Knight and built by W&F Croaker, and provided bright nightingale style wards with windows on both sides.

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1892: Nurse training school founded
A nurse training school was established in 1892 and was soon training 10 nurses a year. Probationer nurses were given a three year training programme, on completion of which nurses were provided with a training certificate.

1914: Military hospital
The Infirmary was taken over as a military hospital for the duration of the First World War. The nurse training school was suspended during this time and the hospital, re-named Mile End Military Hospital, was under the direction of an officer Royal Army Medical Corps during the military occupation. The facilities of the hospital were considerably improved.

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1924: Midwifery training school opens
From 1924, nurses who had completed the hospital’s three year training course could undertake a further year’s midwifery training. The hospital became recognised by the Central Midwives Board as a raining school for the first period of training. As the number of hospital births rose, so did the number of maternity beds. By the 1950s the hospital had 68 maternity beds and it's maternity clinic was seeing 250 patients each week.

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1930: London County Council hospital
The Poor Law was abolished in 1930, when the hospital passed to the control of the London County Council (LCC), it had 550 beds. The LCC began a building programme and was soon modernising wards and building new facilities like the new wing at Mile End. Two thirds of the old workhouse buildings were demolished, including the dining hall and the chapel.

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1942: Regional Preliminary Nurse Training School
Between 1942 and 1948, Mile End Hospital hosted a Regional Preliminary Training School for Nurses providing an initial 11 week training to pupils destined to train at LCC hospitals in all parts of London.

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1948: National health Hospital
With the introduction of National Health Service (NHS) in 1948, the hospital became part of the NHS and was managed by the Stepney Group Hospital Management Committee.

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1968: The London Hospital (Mile End)
In 1968 Mile End Hospital, together with St Clement's Hospital, was transferred to the management of the Board of Governors of The London Hospital. Its designation was changed to The London Hospital (Mile End). Mile End’s school of nursing merged with The London Hospital School of Nursing to become the Princess Alexandra College of Nursing and Midwifery.

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1973: Combined therapy Unit
A combined therapy unit opened at Mile End in 1973, bringing together physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and related services. In 1974, as a result of the re-organisation of the NHS, it became part of Tower Hamlets Health District.

ME 1990 Image 11

1990: Bancroft Unit opens
In 1990, with the closure of Bethnal Green Hospital, the new Bancroft Unit for the Care of the Elderly opened at Mile End. In the same year, as part of The London Hospital Group, the hospital was granted a Royal title by Her Majesty The Queen, becoming The Royal London Hospital (Mile End). The Hospital was part of The Royal London Hospital and its Associated Community Services NHS Trust from 1991 to 1994.
1994: Mile End Hospital
In 1994 the hospital was transferred to City and east London Family and Community Services (CELFACS), reverting to the name "Mile End Hospital". On the division of CELFACS in 1995 the hospital came under the management of Tower Hamlets Healthcare NHS Trust, which itself was reconfigured in 2001 to form Tower Hamlets Primary Care Trust.
2005: Adult mental health Unit opens
In October 2005 in preparation for the closure of St Clement’s Hospital in Bow, the Tower Hamlets Centre for Mental Health opened on part of the Mile End Hospital site. The unit, which provides 114 in patient beds in 7seven wards is managed by East London Foundation NHS Trust.
2013: Barts Health NHS Trust
In April 2013, management of Mile End Hospital transferred from Tower Hamlets Primary healthcare Trust to the new Barts Health NHS Trust.


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