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Rosehill Hospital

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Alternative name(s):
  • Letchworth and Hitchin lsolation Hospital (Later known as)
Date: 1912-1946
History: The Hitchin Isolation Hospital was opened in 1915 by the Hitchin Joint Hospital Board, which consisted of representatives of Hitchin Urban District Council, Hitchin Rural District Council, and, from 1919, representatives of Letchworth Urban District Council, with the hospital becoming known as Letchworth and Hitchin Isolation Hospital. In 1932 the Board became known as the North Hertfordshire Joint Hospital Board. The hospital was situated in Hitchin Road, Letchworth. The Hospital had two daughter institutions attached to it, namely South Lodge, Baldock, which was opened in 1940 to deal with scarlet fever cases, and Langley Smallpox Hospital, which was opened in 1902.

In 1948, when the National Health Service was created, control of the hospital passed to the Luton and Hitchin Group No. 2 Hospital Management Committee, which was a part of the North West Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board. The hospital also became known as the Rosehill Hospital and provided 40 beds for patients. In 1974 it passed to the North Hertfordshire District Health Authority in the North West Thames Regional Health Authority. It then provided 24 beds for geriatric patients. It would seem to have been closed in c1988.
  • Letchworth, Hertfordshire
Sources of authority: Poor Law Amendment Act 1868; Public Health Act 1875; Isolation Hospitals Act 1893; Public Health Act 1936
Functions, occupations and activities: Health and social care > Hospitals
Historical context: Many towns had some form of isolation hospital from the eighteenth century, usually in the form of a pest house, where verminous or infectious people were treated. It was not, however, until the late nineteenth century that the formal treatment of infectious diseases, such as scarlet fever, typhoid and smallpox, was considered. The Poor Law Amendment Act of 1868 dealt briefly with the subject, since most patients with infectious diseases found their way into the workhouse infirmaries because voluntary hospitals could and did refuse to admit them. In 1875 the Public Health Act enabled any local authority to provide hospital accommodation for the treatment of patients with infectious diseases paid for by the rates. It also allowed for two or more authorities to combine to maintain a hospital. In 1893 the first Act relating solely to isolation hospitals was enacted, stating that, on the application of twenty-five or more rate payers, the local authority was to provide an isolation hospital out of the rates, to be run by an Isolation Hospital Committee. Those suffering from TB found themselves in specially appointed sanatoriums and those suffering from VD in the workhouse infirmary. Isolation hospitals were also permitted to open schools or nursing to train nurses specifically in the treatment of infectious diseases. A further Act was enacted in 1901 reinforcing the powers of local authorities to purchase land compulsorily for use as an isolation hospital. In 1936 a further Public Health Act abolished all Isolation Hospital Committees and replaced them with Joint Hospital Boards. Medical advances meant that in the years after the Second World War the need to provide such hospitals became redundant, and many of them were closed in the first years of the National Health Service.
References: Hosprec database; Hospital Yearbooks 1932-1989
Name authority reference: GB/NNAF/C22710 (Former ISAAR ref: GB/NNAF/O91870 )
  Description Held by Reference Further information
1915-44: records incl financial records, day books, and an inventory book
Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies
NRA 11973 Hertfordshire
1912-1946: plans and other records
Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies

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Related record creators
  Record creator Description of relationship Dates Category of relationship
Rosehill Hospital was managed by the Luton and Hitchin Group Management Committee
Letchworth and Hitchin Isolation Hospital was run by the Hitchin Joint Hospital Board
Rosehill Hospital, Letchworth was under the authority of the North West Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board
Rosehill Hospital, Letchworth was subordinate to the North West Thames Regional Hospital Authority