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Hertfordshire and Essex General Hospital

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The summary includes a brief description of the collection(s) (usually including the covering dates of the collection), the name of the archive where they are held, and reference information to help you find the collection.

Alternative name(s):
  • Bishop's Stortford Union Workhouse (Formerly known as)
  • Haymeads Public Assistance Institution (Formerly known as)
  • Haymeads Hospital (Later known as)
  • Bishop's Stortford Poor Law Institution (Formerly known as)
Date: 1925-1941
History: Bishops Stortford Poor Law Union was formed in 1835, consisting of representatives from 10 Hertfordshire and 10 Essex parishes. The workhouse was built in 1837, being located on Haymeads Lane, Bishops Stortford. It was run by the Bishops Stortford Board of Guardians until 1930, when it became Bishops Stortford Public Assistance Institution, also known as Haymeads Institution, run by Hertfordshire County Council.

On the creation of the National Health Service in 1948, it became known as Haymeads Hospital and was run by the Hertford Group No. 1 Hospital Management Committee, part of the North East Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board. At this time it had 450 beds for patients and operated as an acute hospital offering a wide range of services. In 1953-1954 the number of beds peaked at 491 before eventaully settling down to 372 in 1973. In 1974 it passed to the Harlow District Health Authority, later West Essex DHA, in the North East Thames District Health Authority. In 1995 it became part of the Essex and Herts Community NHS Trust. he number of beds gradually fell from 371 in 1977 to 115 in 1997.
  • Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire
Sources of authority: Poor Law Amendment Act 1834; Local Government Act 1929; National Service Health Act 1946
Functions, occupations and activities: Health and social care > Hospitals
Historical context: Union workhouses were set up following the passing of the Poor Law Amendment Act in 1834. There was no initial requirement for the boards of guardians to build infirmaries for the provision of health care, although many workhouses did have sick wards, which were poorly equipped and usually had no nursing staff, in which case care was provided by fit inmates. By 1842 it was generally recognised by most that some form of medical provision was necessary. Hospital workhouses were not permitted to turn away any patient, however ill, unlike voluntary hospitals which refused to deal with the long term chronically sick or those with infectious diseases. In 1929 the poor law unions were abolished, and control of the workhouses or poor law institutions and their infirmaries passed to the appropriate County Council, when they were largely re-named public assistance institutions. On 5 July 1948 the public assistance institutions and their hospitals were taken over by the newly formed National Health Service.
References: Hosprec database; Burdetts and Hospital Yearbooks 1901-1999
Name authority reference: GB/NNAF/C231112
Number Description Held by Reference Further information
1924-1941: house sub-committee minutes and master's reports
Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies
1953-1970: house committee minutes
Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies
Related record creators
  Record creator Description of relationship Dates Category of relationship
Hertfordshire and Essex General Hospital was subordinate to North East Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board
Hertfordshire and Essex General Hospital was subordinate to north east Thames Regional Health Authority