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Cheshunt Hospital

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Alternative name(s):
  • Cheshunt Cottage Hospital (Formerly known as)
  • Cheshunt Community Hospital (Later known as)
Date: 1896-1947
History: Cheshunt Cottage Hospital was founded to commemorate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee of 1998 as a voluntary subscription hospital in 1889 and opened in 1890 at Church Lane, Cheshunt. It was "intended for the reception of persons suffering from diseases or accident, who cannot properly be treated in their own dwellings". In 1901 there was provision for 6 beds and 2 cots, with one extra bed having been added by 1911. In 1924 and 1925 enlargements were made to the premises, so that in 1926 there was accommodaton for 15 patients in beds. During World War II the number of beds was 16.

After the foundation of the National Health Service in 1948 it was managed by Enfield Group Hospital Management Committee under the North East Thames Regional Hospital Board. From 1974 it was part of Enfield District Health Authority and North East Thames Regional Health Authority. The number of beds had remained at 16 from 1948 until 1962, when the number was decreased to 14. After 1986, however, it operated only as an out-patient facility only. It became part of Chase Farm Hospital NHS Trust in 1993. In 1995 its address was King Arthur Court, Crossbrook Street. By 2009 it had become part of East and North Hertfordshire Primary Care Trust.
Places:
  • Cheshunt, Hertfordshire
Sources of authority: National Health Service Act 1946
Functions, occupations and activities: Health and social care > Hospitals
Historical context: The first voluntary hospitals came into being in England to provide care for the poor after the Reformation, taking over the role previously performed by the monastic orders. Voluntary hospitals were privately endowed, often by a local landowner, but subsequently maintained by subscriptions and donations. Anyone was open to subscribe, and then became known as a governor or subscriber which entitled them to certain privileges. A Board of Management was appointed from the governors to administer the daily running of the hospital, usually with the help of a House Committee and a Finance Committee. Many local organizations adopted the hospitals and held fetes, garden parties and other fund raising events to raise money for the maintenance of the hospital and especially for the purchase of equipment. Many of the hospitals had contributory schemes which entitled a member of the scheme to medical treatment. The voluntary hospitals, unlike the large sprawling workhouse infirmaries, were usually small, containing as few as six or seven beds in some cases, and served the "deserving" poor of the immediate area. Voluntary hospitals would not generally admit the destitute or "undeserving" poor. In the early days of the voluntary hospitals the medical staff were usually unpaid, but it was considered to be prestigious to be appointed to the medical staff, who often maintained themselves by private practice. The nursing staff were on the whole either "Nightingale" nurses or had been trained at other nursing establishments. Voluntary hospitals could chose which patients to admit (then referring all other cases to the workhouse), and if their beds were full they could refuse to admit patients altogether. They did not take the chronic infirm, infectious cases or long term sick patients. Most of the voluntary hositals started life in cottages or other buildings, which were either bought by the governors or left by the benefactor. As the hospitals became more financially stable and more prestigious they were able to finance larger, purpose built buildings, often in the pavilion style with high ceilings and lofty corridors. On July 5th 1948 control of the voluntary hospitals passed from the Board of Management and therefore the local community to the Minister of Health.
References: Hosprec database; Burdetts and Hospital Yearbooks 1901-1995; LMA records
Name authority reference: GB/NNAF/C231039
Collections
  Description Held by Reference Further information
1
1896: plans for operating room
Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies
2
1900-1947: annual reports
Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies
3
1908-1947: annual reports
London Metropolitan Archives: City of London

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Related record creators
  Record creator Description of relationship Dates Category of relationship
1
Cheshunt Hospital was managed by the Enfield Group Hospital management Committee
1948-1974
Hierarchical
2
Cheshunt Hospital was under the authority of the North East Thames Regional Health Authority
1974-1993
Hierarchical
3
Cheshunt Hospital was under the authority of the North West Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board
1948-1974
Hierarchical